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Converting diesel fuel quietly and with low emissions
22.03.2013

Fuel cells supply parked trucks with electricity

Truck cabins provide both the workplace and home for drivers for days and even weeks. The communications technology, lighting and air conditioning in trucks therefore also require onboard power supplies during rest periods. The current BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Low-emission energy supplies at truck stops” (02/2013) presents a high-temperature fuel cell that has been developed for this purpose. For the first time, a system using diesel fuel has been developed, which was previously problematic because of the sulphur content.

The list of requirements for supplying on-board electricity with high-temperature fuel cells is long: the system needs to be light, compact and very robust, and it must be able to withstand vibrations. The components are subject to considerable thermomechanical loads caused by rapid heating up and high operating temperatures. When reforming the gas from the diesel fuel, all components must be designed for a sulphur content of 10 – 15 ppm. The developers have already been able to make some important breakthroughs with the aforementioned requirements and are approaching the pre-production stage. However, further optimisation stages are necessary, which are expected to take about three years, before production readiness is attained. In particular these concern the sulphur tolerance, the redox resistance, the thermomechanics and the heat transfer.

The system currently has an efficiency of 22%. The production-ready model is intended to achieve 30%, have a net electrical capacity of 3 kW and thus consume one litre of diesel per operating hour. The BINE-Projektinfo brochure “Low-emission energy supplies at truck stops” (02/2013), which can be obtained free of charge from the BINE Information Service at FIZ Karlsruhe, is available online at www.bine.info or by calling +49 (0)228 92379-0.

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Fuel cells supply parked trucks with electricity

Cover of the BINE-Projektinfo „Low-emission energy supplies at truck stops“ (02/2013)

Minicover
(300 dpi, tiff, 2.9 MB)