Comparative Study to Improve Fuel Cell Design

September 29, 2004 [] Batteries and fuel cells are going to be put to the test by Palcan Power Systems. The company was commissioned by British Columbia’s University of Victoria, Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic), to prepare and supply two scooters for comparative research purposes. One scooter will be a commercially available battery electric scooter and the second is a similar scooter converted to fuel cell power by Palcan. Testing should result in improved system design models to be developed enabling fuel cell vehicle designers to optimize fuel cell stack, fuel cell control systems, power balancing, and electric drive system design. The fuel cell-battery hybrid scooter will employ a 1 kW PalPac fuel cell power module and a hybrid energy storage subsystem. This modular design allows the use of different batteries and super capacitors for energy storage while also incorporating different on-board hydrogen storage devices. The original battery powered electric scooter used for comparative purposes has the same drive train and power rating as the fuel cell powered scooter, with a top speed of 45 km/h. It is powered by four sealed, lead acid batteries having four to eight hour charge times.