Fuel Cells (for Mobility Use)

HORIBA supports customers' development and manufacturing with a wide range of technologies, from material evaluation, performance evaluation of cells, stacks, and systems, to solutions for efficient system adaptation of fuel cell vehicles, and engineering services for prototyping a single vehicle.

A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Fuel cells can be broadly divided into two types: mobile fuel cells, which are installed in Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs), and stationary fuel cells, which are installed in homes and factories.

Fuel cells are classified into two types according to their power generation principle and operating temperature: low-temperature fuel cells and high-temperature fuel cells. The low temperature type is called Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (PEFC), and the high temperature type is called Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC).

To improve the performance, reliability, and durability of fuel cells, a wide range of evaluations are required, including electrochemical measurements during power generation, analysis of each component after power generation, and evaluation of the physical properties of each component. In addition, since the characteristics required of fuel cells vary depending on the application, it is necessary to analyze, measure, and evaluate fuel cells under a variety of conditions.

 

Table of Contents

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV)

FCEVs are vehicles that run on a fuel cell system that converts hydrogen into electricity to power a motor. Hydrogen fuel cells are one of the most promising zero-emission green technologies and offer many advantages over combustion engines, with up to 60% efficiency in converting the chemical energy of the fuel into electrical energy.

In the development of FCEVs, the performance of the fuel cell as the power source must be optimized and safely integrated into the powertrain system. Not only do we need a sophisticated series of evaluation systems from components such as the fuel cell and motor to the powertrain and complete vehicle, but we also need to conduct appropriate and efficient evaluations.

Global Initiatives

In order to realize a carbon-neutral society, many countries are stepping up their efforts to electrify their vehicles. In particular, FCEVs have higher requirements for the components and materials that make up the fuel cell stack, such as quick power response.

In addition, temperature control of the fuel cell stack is also an important issue to increase the efficiency of the fuel cell and to control degradation. In Europe, the U.S., and China, the fuel cell system is expected to be used in commercial vehicles, which requires high durability.


Viritech's Apricale™ Hydrogen Hypercar to be Developed at MIRA Technology Park

Viritech is a UK-based start-up company developing a range of hydrogen-based mobility products. Viritech is located at the MIRA Technology Park, one of Europe's leading mobility research and development centers for the latest automotive technologies, and will develop the hydrogen hypercar "Apricale™" with comprehensive engineering and consulting support from HORIBA MIRA.

Details: Press Release "Viritech's Apricale™ hydrogen hypercar to be developed at MIRA Technology Park"


Our Unique Measurement & Analysis Technology

We provide total solutions for overall development and evaluation of FCEVs and other electric vehicles, from components to vehicle systems, by combining engine and drivetrain measurement technologies with fuel cell and battery measurement technologies, as well as nano-level material analysis, gas control, and water quality monitoring technologies.

  1. Performance evaluation and powertrain evaluation of fuel cell
  2. Improve efficiency of system calibration and on-road testing
  3. Material analysis (catalysts, separators, electrode materials, etc.)
  4. Monitoring of fuel cell degradation with pH of generated water

1. Performance Evaluation and Powertrain Evaluation of Fuel Cell

Our Evaluator series, fuel cell evaluation system, are ideal for testing and evaluating fuel cell cells, stacks, and systems for mobility applications.
In addition to performance evaluation, durability evaluation and accelerated degradation testing can be performed with a high level of safety.
The Evaluator series analyzes the behavior of fuel cell stacks to optimize fuel cell system design. In addition, the Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation (HiLS) can simulate the load effects of fuel cell systems.

Based on HORIBA's long-standing knowledge of powertrain and driveline development and HORIBA FuelCon's comprehensive expertise in automotive fuel cells, we can also build test environments for small and large FCEV powertrain development.
For more information, please see "Turnkey Solutions and Risk Assessment".

Evaluator series: PEM Fuel Cell Testing Equipment

Test in the Loop™* - Enables accurate performance verification and system optimization of components and systems during vehicle development and design

2. Improve Efficiency of System Calibration and On-Road Testing

 "Test in the Loop™" is a development concept to evaluate components and vehicle systems by freely connecting actual equipment and models of batteries, motors, powertrains, engines, and vehicles, as well as evaluation devices, in a way that reproduces the actual operating environment.

Test in the Loop enables highly accurate performance verification and optimization of components and systems during the vehicle development and design phase.

※Test in the Loop is a trademark of HORIBA, Ltd.

RDE+ is a front-loading system for RDE design, development, verification, and evaluation of vehicle models and actual equipment by reproducing actual road tests of various vehicles including FCEVs on a chassis test cell or virtually. It supports optimization and efficiency of the vehicle development process.

Road to Rig Application "RDE+"

3. Material analysis (catalysts, separators, electrode materials, etc.)

We also have a wide range of laboratory analyzers that are useful for research and development of advanced materials. Various methods can be used to evaluate the physical properties of materials such as catalysts, electrolytes, and separators for fuel cells.

Material Charecterization

Monitoring of fuel cell degradation with pH of generated water

4.Monitoring of fuel cell degradation with pH of generated water

Fuel cells produce water during power generation. The pH value (acidity/alkalinity) of this produced water changes due to deterioration of the electrolyte membrane and corrosion of the metal separator.

By monitoring the pH value of the produced water, the state of deterioration of fuel cell materials can be determined. 

Micro Volume pH Monitor UP-100


Engineering Support

HORIBA MIRA's Electric Vehicle Development Engineering Services

HORIBA MIRA provides engineering services to bring energy-efficient electric and hybrid vehicles, products and systems to the market. We have the experience to support the design, development and validation of vehicles with specialized skill sets and tools to help minimize cost, risk and time throughout the development cycle.

  • Extensive simulation and modeling, combined with targeted, multi-purpose development facilities
  • Evaluation from concept design to final validation
  • Improve the accuracy of simulation models with the latest virtual tools and in-house expertise

 

HORIBA MIRA: Electrification and Energy

Turnkey Solution and Risk Assessment

Many customers are setting up test facilities to handle batteries and hydrogen, but safety measures for batteries and hydrogen need to be taken from a completely different perspective than before. We will apply our original risk assessment method, which was developed to extract all possible risks and ensure safety and security while minimizing cost and time, to the construction of your test building.

For example, in a fuel cell test laboratory where a large amount of hydrogen is handled, three levels of safety designs are applied to prevent the risk of hydrogen leakage: 1) no leakage, 2) no accident in the event of leakage, and 3) minimal damage in the event of an accident.

Please contact us for more information.

 

Total package of development and experimental building construction for highly efficient operation
(construction, electricity, air conditioning, gas piping, dynamometer, measurement equipment, control system)

Consultation for Analysis and Contract Analysis Services

We have a long-standing commitment to complimentary sample analysis towards the evaluation of advanced materials. Each submission is measured by a highly-trained member of the Applications Lab and presented as a formal lab report complete with method, observations, results, and data interpretation assistance.

Analysis Centers and Services


Related Information on Hydrogen Energy

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