ARAI, SAE India look beyond electric mobility, to host hybrid FCV workshop in Pune

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 09 Oct 2017

Using hydrogen to generate electricity within a fuel cell stack, the Toyota Mirai produces no tailpipe emissions other than water.

Even as India prepares for electric mobility as a counter to the growing menace of air pollution, engineers are also brainstorming to find out other solutions to arrest deterioration of the environment.

The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and SAE India are jointly conducting a two-day Workshop on ‘Hybrid Fuel Cell Vehicles: Potential Power Source for the Future’ at ARAI, Kothrud, Pune (October 10-11), 2017.

‘Is Electric Mobility the only solution to reduce pollution in India? Are there other options, which can help achieve zero emission?’ are two key questions, answers to which will be discussed, deliberated and debated at the workshop. The objective of the workshop is also to educate and prepare engineers for technologies of the future with a special focus on fuel cell technology.

With an ever-increasing awareness of environmental pollution and desire for energy independence, renewable and clean energy resources have been intensively studied and developed with the aim of replacing traditional fossil fuels in our day to day life. Fuel cells are clean, highly efficient, scalable power generators and can be fueled by a variety of fuels which contain hydrogen, hence there are used in versatile applications.

The promise of PEMFC
Among many types of fuel cells, Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) seem to be more promising and suitable for automotive applications since they are compact and produce a powerful electric current relative to their size. They operate at a relatively low temperature, allows for fast start-up and response to changes in demand for power.

This makes PEMFCs ideally suitable for transportation and smaller stationary applications (less than 1 MW). In spite of its excellent benefits, commercialisation of fuel cells is very challenging because of the high cost of materials and low reliability, apart from the sub systems such as hydrogen generation and storage technologies. The cost reduction in the design and development of individual fuel cell system would lead to substantial cost savings in the fabrication of the complicated fuel cell stack.

Dr. P Karthikeyan, professor in the department of automobile engineering, PSG College of Technology, is a key speaker at the workshops. The workshop also aims to help participants fully understand fuel cell technology, design and optimise fuel cells, develop low cost and high energy density fuel cell stacks.

In an age of disruptions, the evolution in fuel cell technology could offer an interesting option to clean mobility. 

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