Next-generation Fuel Cell Stack
- Environment Technologies
Towards a future of FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicles) where CO2 emissions are zero while travelling
The fuel cell has been trialled and introduced in a variety of fields from 1000kW class electric power stations to 100W power source for ordinary homes. They are anticipated as clean energy that produces electricity from hydrogen and oxygen. Nissan is also carrying out practical utilization of the FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle), which uses a fuel cell as the power source. From an early stage Nissan has been undertaking technical developments, and have achieved a cruising range and acceleration equivalent to gasoline vehicles with the “X-TRAIL FCV” in 2005. Nissan is continuing its development of the practical utilization of the innovative new generation FCEV, which is one further step in the refinement of environmental and power saving performance that utilizes a lithium-ion battery and the power system of electric vehicles, control technology of hybrid vehicles, and high pressure gas storage technology of compressed natural gas vehicles.
Nissan’s own “Next generation fuel cell stack” brings an innovation to the FCEV
A key point to the FCEV is the size reduction and high output of “Fuel cell stack”, which is directly linked with performance such as acceleration and travelling distance, as well as cost reduction for commercialization. Nissan developed its own next-generation “fuel cell stack”, which is an assembly of “cells” that produce electricity through electrochemical reactions. By improving the separator and MEA (Membrane Electrode, Assembly), power generation performance is increased and has achieved a power density 2.5 times greater than the 2005 model. Furthermore, by simplifying the structure and construction of the stack, the use of platinum has been reduced by 1/4, parts variation by 1/4, and stack cost by 1/6 compared to the 2005 model. This brought a substantial reduction in cost. By combining this technology with the EV technology that has already been made into practical use with Nissan LEAF, the development of FCEV that is closer to practical application is becoming a reality. A world where clean vehicles would be travelling on our roads is only a doorstep away.
Next generation fuel cell stack
The fuel cell stack is the heart of the FCEV, where hydrogen and oxygen found in the atmosphere is caused to electrochemically react in order to generate electricity. Further size reduction, high output, and cost reduction is possible if the power density of the stack is improved.
Key technologies of improving high output
Transport of substances that are required for power generation (hydrogen/oxygen) and substances formed upon power generation (water/electrons) have been accelerated through the modification of MEA materials and the separator flow channels. This has achieved a high output of fuel cell stack.
Key Technologies for Size Reduction
By integrating the frame to the MEA, fuel cells are arranged appropriately in a single row, which has achieved the miniaturization of the fuel cell stack.