Honda has revealed that it is testing a solid fuel cell power system in California.
“The fixed demonstration fuel cell unit has a capacity of approximately 500 kW and reuses fuel cell systems from previously leased Honda Clarity Fuel Cell vehicles, which are designed to increase power every 250 kW with four fuel cells,” Honda said. in the statement. “It provides the flexibility to change the placement of the fuel cell units to suit the installation environment and accommodate cubic, L-shaped, Z-shaped and other packaging configurations.”
The Japanese group said Clarity Fuel Cell’s fuel cell stack is four times more impact resistant than other fuel cells because it supports the cells with a tie rod. It is designed to prevent hydrogen leakage in collisions. The Clarity fuel cell includes a fuel cell powertrain, a hydrogen/air supply system, an air compressor, a fuel cell voltage converter unit (FCVCU) and a drive motor.
“With the Clarity Fuel Cell, improved cell performance allows for a 30 percent reduction in the number of cells, and improved cell design allows for a 20 percent reduction in each cell,” the company said. “These improvements result in a 33% smaller fuel cell stack.”
In the beginning of February, Honda revealed plans to launch an all-new fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) based on the CR-V 5-seat SUV next year. It also said it will sell its fuel cell systems on the open market to promote its hydrogen fuel cell systems in partnership with General Motors. This allows it to achieve economies of scale.
Honda said fuel cell stack costs should become comparable to diesel engines by 2030, from about one-third to one-half of current costs.
“We have identified four core areas to focus on in the early stages of our hydrogen business: Honda FCEV models, commercial vehicles, stationary power plants and construction machinery.” said Arata Ichinose, Honda Business Development Director.
In addition, the company cooperates with original manufacturers of commercial vehicles and construction machinery in Japan and China.