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Hydrogen energy and fuel cell vehicle development space

The history of hydrogen energy development is not short, but it is limited to its development route (currently still commercial), and there is not much direct contact with ordinary consumers. However, with the vigorous development of new energy vehicles, regardless of the policy level, car manufacturers and suppliers are paying more and more attention to the technical route of hydrogen fuel cells. In what form will this kind of car enter people's travel life in the future?

Principle: There are fuel and batteries?

The round hydrogen storage tank is easily reminiscent of many domestic cities and cities with natural gas taxis. In essence, the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCEV) is one of the electric vehicles - the internal combustion engine is not the internal combustion engine but the electric motor. In this regard, the fuel cell vehicle is the same as the lithium battery vehicle.

Therefore, the soul part of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle lies in a fuel cell, which is equivalent to a small generator. The hydrogen carried by the vehicle and the oxygen in the air rely on a chemical reaction to generate electricity to drive the motor. The basic principle is the reverse reaction of electrolyzed water, which supplies hydrogen and oxygen to the anode and cathode respectively. After hydrogen diffuses through the anode and reacts with the electrolyte, the electrons are released to the cathode through an external load. Although Chinese is called "fuel cell", it is not hydrogen and oxygen mixed together.

The hydrogen storage tank stores hydrogen, the fuel cell generates electricity, and the motor drives the wheels. This is the basic model of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Of course, many hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are now powered by high-voltage lithium batteries. The mode is similar to existing hybrid or extended-range electric vehicles to cope with certain special use scenarios and improve vehicle performance.

For example, the NEXO, a modern hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that participated in this exhibition, is the main part of its fuel cell. The 1.6kWh high-voltage lithium battery located at the rear of the vehicle is mainly responsible for fuel cell startup, vehicle start-up, power supply for other components, and timely The interventional power system provides more power with the fuel cell.

Japan and South Korea have a good accumulation in the development of fuel cell vehicles. The government and companies are paying enough attention to the fact that Toyota's first-generation hydrogen fuel cell model, Mirai, has sold more than 10,000 since its launch in late 2014 (it has been a very good result for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles), and Toyota is also planning to The second generation of Mirai will be launched in 2020. The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, called hydrogen energy the country's “bread and butter of the future” and planned a specific development roadmap.

Advantages and weaknesses

As a new energy vehicle, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are known as the “ultimate solution” for new energy vehicles, except for their advantages in emissions (the power generation process only produces water, there is no other emissions), the main shortage of lithium batteries It seems that the hydrogen fuel cell is no longer a problem here.

The first is battery life. With the continuous development of technology, the safety and volume of hydrogen storage tanks have been optimized, which also makes it possible for the development of commercial vehicles to passenger vehicles. For example, NEXO is equipped with three hydrogen storage tanks of the same type. Under the international standard 70Mpa, it can hold about 2 kilograms of hydrogen. The official test results show that the NEDC can reach 866 kilometers when it is full of hydrogen. Get rid of the burden of battery weight and volume, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be much harder to upgrade their battery life in the future than lithium battery cars.

In addition, the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is also more dominant in the control of the weight of the vehicle, and the endurance capability is optimized from another angle.

Followed by the replenishment time. In general, the time required for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to fill up with hydrogen is 3-5 minutes, which is much lower than the charging time of a lithium battery car. It is undeniable that the current hydrogenation process and the number of hydrogen refueling stations have yet to be developed, but there are not many technical difficulties and conflicts.

Third, the use and loss under extreme conditions. Low temperature is a major killer of lithium batteries, and the endurance of hydrogen fuel cells is not affected by temperature. In addition, in some highland areas, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can also be driven normally under the adjustment of air compressors, which is highly adaptable to the region. The problem of power decay is also absent, and the durability of its hydrogen fuel cell system can reach 160,000 km/10 years.

Fourth, thanks to the special energy conversion properties (direct conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy, without intermediate transformation of thermal energy and mechanical energy), fuel cell power generation efficiency can reach more than 50%, which is lithium battery and traditional gasoline, Diesel is unmatched.

As its obvious advantages, the disadvantages of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are also obvious, mainly concentrated in vehicle manufacturing costs, hydrogen manufacturing and transportation, supporting facilities construction, and policy follow-up. These obvious advantages and disadvantages also determine that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are currently very picky about the use of the scene. The most suitable and first popularization may still be medium- and heavy-duty, long-distance transportation or fixed routes.

For example, in South Korea and Japan, hydrogen fuel cell buses have appeared as shuttle buses for large-scale events such as the Winter Olympics.

Fuel cell costs have also remained high due to the use and scale of precious metal catalysts. Hydrogen production and transportation need to consider factors such as cost, energy saving, policies and models. No matter the technological breakthrough or the development of the entire industry, it can be completed in a short period of time.

Popular roads are long

The 2019 International Conference on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles focuses on the market applications of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, fuel cell stacks and key components, hydrogen storage technology, hydrogenation infrastructure construction, policy standards and regulations, and market investment. Expand communication. These hot spots are also corresponding to many difficulties in the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

For the time being, the policy is supportive. According to the "Blue Book of China's Hydrogen Energy Industry Infrastructure", 1000 sets of hydrogen refueling stations and 1 million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be built in China in 2030. Hydrogen energy was also written for the first time in the 2019 "Government Work Report", which required the construction of infrastructure such as charging and hydrogenation. However, regardless of the domestic market or the foreign market, the development of hydrogen energy faces the problem of “cold start”. Before the scale effect is formed, who will bear the huge investment and risks? Or who can afford it? If there are similar alternatives (such as lithium battery cars) in some scenarios, is it necessary to invest huge sums of money to build this system?

Therefore, for a long time to come, hydrogen fuel cell technology and other technical routes will not be your competitive relationship. Their respective advantages and disadvantages will determine that they will remain in a state of mutual coexistence for a long time. And diversified development may have a more complete solution.

Although the fish and the bear's paw can't be both, the user expects that the bear's paw and the fish will always be in my hand. Will hydrogen fuel cell vehicles develop into a bear-bearing fish? I am afraid it will take quite some time to get an answer.

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