Power electronics, motors and drives

Fuel cell electric powertrains have some specific requirements and also a number of common elements with other electrified heavy-duty vehicles. There are opportunities in each of these areas and also in integration of components to reduce part count and improve efficiency.

Fuel cell DC-DC

  • Used to control fuel cell output
  • Voltage drops around 25% from low to high power (eg 400-300V)
  • Usually operating at 650V output for heavy duty vehicles but can be higher
  • 50kW to 200kW for bigger vehicles
  • Average efficiency >90% across the power range of a fuel cell

Electric drive

  • Axles or motors with or without transmission
  • Torque at slow speed - 3000-4000Nm at 0rpm
  • Power output >250kW
  • Drive output equivalent to continuous engine speeds @ 2500-3000rpm
  • Motor inverters at 650V DC input and to match motor power requirements

Power distribution and integration

  • High voltage distribution components
  • High voltage to low voltage (24V) conversion
  • Inverter integration with motors and drives
  • Integration of fuel cell DC-DC, power distribution and inverters

The survey asked about interest and capabilities for current technology and the R&D requirements to develop improvements on the current state of the art.

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