Our car as power plant. In the future, cars with hydrogen fuel cells will also be able to provide energy for homes and offices. These cars run on electricity that is generated by a hydrogen fuel cell. While the vehicle is parked, the fuel cell continues to produce electricity which can also be used to provide power to many houses. On Wednesday 8 April, Hyundai will present the IX35 FCEV type in the Netherlands. One of the vehicles will be used by TU Delft’s the Green Village for further research on electricity production by fuel cell cars and its efficiency.
Fuel cell cars are a cleaner and more efficient transport alternative. A fuel cell car is an electric car with fuel cells on board that generate electricity from hydrogen and oxygen. Most cars are actually only used for 5% of the time and spend the other 95% parked. But even when the car is standing still, the fuel cells can still produce electricity. This electricity can be used in homes and offices. Moreover, fuel cells also produce two other useful (and clean) by-products: water and heat.
Today’s cars primarily run on petrol, diesel or gas. The engines of these vehicles are not very energy efficient (only 25 to 40%), and they also create CO2 emissions. This is the reason why many car manufacturers are developing alternatives, such as the fuel cell car. Fuel cell cars can achieve electricity efficiencies of around 40 to 45% using hydrogen obtained from gas. This is more efficient than the current methods of producing electricity.
Car as Power Plant
In the Car as Power Plant project, TU Delft is investigating how to optimise all the processes involved in producing energy using hydrogen fuel cells and how to use this energy in cars. This includes the production of hydrogen, how to transfer it from pumps to vehicles at service stations, how to extend the life and quality of fuel cells and how to hook vehicles up to the electricity grid.
TU Delft is collaborating with GasTerra, Q-Park, Stedin, CNG net, Shell, HyTruck and other stakeholders in this research. Last year, the university received a grant from NWO’s Uncertainty Reduction in Smart Energy Systems (URSES) programme. GasTerra has financed the car.
The Green Village
The Car as Power Plant is a project of the Green Village, a TU Delft initiative which aims to develop a vibrant living lab for sustainable system innovations on the university campus. It provides a platform for a wide variety of partners from the public and private sectors to work together on the development and integration of sustainable technologies.
Source: TU Delft