An innovative 100kW automotive fuel cell architecture from Intelligent Energy, the energy technology group, provides vehicle manufacturers with a new high performance option for their next generation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs). Renfrew Group International was invited to assist with the physical appearance of the launch model and to provide a full scale facsimile for presentations and reviews.
After agreeing the general direction, packaging and aesthetics, RGI provided the industrial design input before building components in CAD. After selection from onscreen design assemblies and further discussions with the engineering team ay Intelligent Energy, RGI proceeded to produce component parts using a variety of machining and layer build methods. Billet aluminium and polymer materials were used across the build to simulate the finished fuel cell, whilst actual parts such as connectors and cables were used to add the final touches. All parts were variously polished, painted of metalized and the large hoses were cast from silicone materials.
The finished model was presented on a purpose designed plinth together with a representation of the cooling radiator ready for display. This model is the one of many prototypes and presentation models RGI has provided to Intelligent Energy in recent years.
About the 100KW Fuel Cell
The architecture has been developed in response to increasing market demand for next generation, high power automotive fuel cell solutions and is the result of extensive research, engineering, cost reduction and test activities undertaken by Intelligent Energy's Motive division. The system builds upon the company's successes in developing advanced zero emission solutions both independently and with its world-class automotive customers. Designed to deliver primary motive power within an advanced electric driveline, the 100kW fuel cell architecture and core technology will be available to vehicle manufacturers through technology licensing programmes and joint development agreements. The 100kW platform takes full advantage of Intelligent Energy's superior stack technology, which offers world leadership in power density of 3.5kW/l (volumetric) and 3.0kW/kg (gravimetric), whilst being engineered for low cost, high volume series production.
The key enabler for these high power densities is the company's proprietary, evaporatively-cooled (EC) technology. Compared to conventional liquid-cooled fuel cell stacks, the EC design removes the need for individual cooling channels between each cell. This delivers a considerable advantage in terms of stack mass and volume, and helps contribute to Intelligent Energy's leadership in stack power density which translates into in-vehicle packaging and weight advantages.