Article 4 #2 2021

DOI: 10.33868/0365-8392-2021-2-266-22-28

© Olexander Agarkov, Deputy Head of Wheeled Vehicle Certification Department, e-mail:, ORCID: 0000-0002-2565-1737;
© Kostyantyn Shevchuk, Head of Wheeled Vehicle Certification Department, e-mail:, ORCID: 0000-0002-9730-3977;
© Yurii Ivanyna, Leading Engineer of Wheeled Vehicle Certification Department, e-mail:, ORCID: 0000-0002-2417-0819
(SE “The State Road Transport Research Institute”)

Abstract. In previous articles on this topic [1-3] we examined the perspectives of application of power plants based on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) as auxiliary power plants as well as range extenders for heavy freight transport [1,2] and cars [3]: we considered experience of USA [1], Europe [2] and Japan [3]. We showed, that such kind of systems give opportunity to obtain electrical power from chemical energy of hydrocarbon fuel oxidation with record-high efficiency (much higher than competitive solutions) in order to supply on-board vehicle systems during stops of main engine, as well as to significantly extend the range of electrical vehicles by means of constant charge of batteries directly during motional and their discharge due to operation of electrical engine. In current manuscript, we examine the world first experience of SOFC power plant application as range extender for electrical buses. Group of Ceres Power (UK) and Weichai Power (China) companies executed a corresponding project. As a result of project execution system prototype with power output of 30 kW was developed and manufactured, tests on bus lines are planned to be executed in nearest future. The system examined in current manuscript is the most powerful in comparison to other systems studied in this set of manuscripts: 30 kW against 1.5 and 9 kW [1], 3 kW [2] as well as 5 kW [3] for systems examined in previous works. Examined system uses compressed natural gas (CNG) as a fuel; this hydrocarbon is very convenient one due to well-developed distribution network, ecological cleanness in comparison with more complex and heavy hydrocarbon mixtures. Application of low-temperature fuel cells (with proton-exchange membrane), which are more simple in manufacture, in automobile transport leads to the demand in development of hydrogen supply networks, which is not developed nowadays at all.
Keywords: automobile transport, bus, solid oxide fuel cells, SOFCs, power plant, range extender, electrical bus.

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