IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) has installed a new 210 kW test bench for fuel-cell systems on its Lyon site through its IFPEN Transports Energie Carnot Institute.
IFPEN hopes to accelerate its research into the use of hydrogen-powered fuel cells in electric vehicles, particularly for heavy road vehicles (trucks and coaches) and the rail sector, with this experimental tool, which is the only one of its kind in France.
In electric vehicles, using hydrogen to power a fuel cell that generates electricity is an intriguing alternative to using batteries. A fuel cell can reduce the size of an electric vehicle’s battery by up to 90%, and it also has significant advantages in terms of on-board weight, range, and recharging time.
Although this solution is still complex and expensive for private vehicles, it is well suited for use in transportation sectors that require a long range in terms of autonomy and/or a short recharging time, such as freight trucks, long-distance coaches, off-road vehicles, as well as rail, river, and sea transport.
The work that will be done on the new test bench aims to improve energy management in the vehicle’s fuel-cell system while lowering costs. The tests will look at the durability, range, cooling, purging, and operational control of fuel-cell systems in order to achieve this.