Thursday, July 18, 2024

    Toyota develops fuel cell system to achieve carbon neutrality


    Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a product that packages a fuel cell system into a compact module and plans to begin selling it in the spring of 2021 or later. The new module will be easily utilised by companies that are developing and manufacturing fuel cell products for wide variety of applications, including mobility such as trucks, buses, trains and ships, as well as stationary generators.

    As various policies for utilizing hydrogen have been adopted in recent years in each country and region and many companies have been entering the market one after another. As a result, the need for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies has been increasing in a variety of applications.

    Toyota develops fuel cell system to achieve carbon neutrality | Vandi4u

    In addition to its effort to popularise fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), Toyota will continue to strengthen its initiatives as an fuel cell system supplier to promote hydrogen utilisation through the popularisation of fuel cell products together with various FC product companies with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions to curtail global warming and to contribute to the achievement of carbon neutrality.

    Toyota has been taking various initiatives toward the creation of a hydrogen society, such as selling the “Mirai” FCEV and the “SORA” FCEV bus, selling fuel cell systems to fuel cell product companies, as well as allowing royalty-free use of its FCEV-related patent licenses. Through these experiences, the company has learned that many companies involved in fuel cell products in a variety of industries are looking for fuel cell systems that can be easily adapted to their own products.

    Therefore, to address these needs, Toyota has developed a product that packages individual fuel cell system-related products of second generation Toyota Mirai with enhanced performance, such as the fuel cell stack, as well as components that handle air supply, hydrogen supply, cooling, and power control, into a single compact module. The new module is available in four models―a vertical type (Type I) and a horizontal type (Type II), with rated output of either 60 kW or 80 kW.

    FC module overview

     Vertical type (Type I)Horizontal type (Type II)
    External appearanceVertical type (Type I)Horizontal type (Type II)
    Dimensions (length x width x height)890 x 630 x 690 mm1,270 x 630 x 410 mm
    WeightApprox. 250 kgApprox. 240 kg
    Rated output60 or 80 kW60 or 80 kW 
    Voltage400 – 750 V400 – 750 V
    *Values are target values and are subject to change.

    Toyota developed the fuel cell module utilising technologies it cultivated through its development of FCEVs over many years, as well as the knowledge and expertise accumulated in a variety of usage environments around the world and utilised in the Mirai. The following section describes the specific features of the module:

    Highly versatile product lineup and high installability

    • The new module has a wide voltage range (400 to 750 V) and can be directly connected to an existing electrical instrument provided with a motor, inverter, and battery, etc., thanks to a built-in, dedicated fuel cell boost converter that simplifies the development and manufacture of fuel cell products. In addition, the system’s modularization greatly improves convenience.
    • The four module models can be combined according to the application, flexibly adapting to the output level and amount of installation space available.
    • Modularisation eliminates the need to create designs for individually installing fuel cell system-related components and to connect individual components. It also integrates and decreases the number of locations the module must be connected to a device, allowing for easy installation.

    Schematic example of connecting the fuel cell module to an external device

    Toyota develops fuel cell system to achieve carbon neutrality | Vandi4u

    Excellent safety/reliability and support structure for peace of mind during use

    • To ensure safety related to the use of hydrogen and high voltage, the countermeasures cultivated during the development of electrified vehicles such as FCEVs and HEVs were implemented. These measures are based on the basic approach of ensuring that hydrogen does not leak and, in the unlikely event that any leaks should occur, ensuring their immediate detection and stoppage.
    • The module was designed to work in a broad range of operating environments, ensuring system operation at low or high temperature, at higher altitude where the oxygen level is lower, and under applications involving vibration.
    • When fuel cell product companies decide to utilise the module, they have the option to request the support of highly experienced engineers in determining optimal layout and design according to fuel economy, usage duration, and running cost, etc.

    Excellent basic performance (high output and economical efficiency)

    • Capitalising on the characteristics of the compact Toyota fuel cell system, which eliminated the humidifier by circulating the water generated during power generation inside the fuel cell stack, the new module has achieved a world-class, top level output density per unit volume.
    • The maintenance requirements of the new module are simple and infrequent, helping to reduce the total cost, from procurement and usage, to disposal.
    Krish is a designer and a graduate who loves to drive. When not driving, his dexterity shift gear to voice of passion in the form of reviews and news, all the time closely monitoring updates from the automotive industry.

    Read more