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November 27, 2018

FPT develops hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for heavy-duty applications

FPT is demonstrating a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain concept designed for heavy-duty applications during its Tech Dayy 2018 event.

By Rhodri Morgan

FPT is demonstrating a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain concept designed for heavy-duty applications during its Tech Day 2018 event.

Hydrogen could also become paramount in the development of a circular economy, as it can be produced locally through renewable resources from biomethane, wind or solar energy.

The powertrain system developed by FPT Industrial delivers a maximum power of 400kW and comprises the H2 tanks, a fuel cell module, a lithium-ion battery pack, an e-axle and an energy management system. The fuel cell supplies energy to the e-axle, which ensures performance is aligned with that of a diesel powertrain.

The electric motor integrated into the axle gives power to the wheels and ensures the lowest energy consumption possible. The lithium-ion battery supports the fuel cell during the most demanding operations and stores energy during the vehicle deceleration phase.

Moreover, the powertrain will have smart management and controls, allowing complete visibility of each segment, such as air, integration, thermal systems, fuel and power, to deliver up to 50% powertrain efficiency.

The energy management system provides the minimum amount of energy to satisfy specific power demand. Depending on the system condition, the software can balance the energy through battery and fuel cell to give the required energy to thee-motor.

This will ensure that the fuel cell has a durability of 20,000 hours. This FPT Industrial proprietary management system coupled with Hydrogen tanks can also guarantee an autonomy of around 800km.

“Considering a future scenario, the FPT Industrial Hydrogen Fuel Cell powertrain will have among its advantages: the highest sustainability with zero emissions regarding noise and pollutants, diesel­ like performance, a similar weight to a diesel powertrain, making a vehicle thus equipped 70% lighter than a battery powered variant (considering a 44-ton GVW truck) and six times faster filling time than a battery vehicle – the fuel cell has a refilling time of around 20 minutes, while the battery can take up to two hours,” said an FPT statement.

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