Fuel Cell Vehicle System Components

The objective of the project is the research on of low-cost components for fuel cell (FC-) systems and electric drive systems which can be used in future hybridised FC-vehicles (medium term objective) and ICE vehicles.

a European commission
funded project coordinated
by Daimler AG

Project partners - OEMs

CRF (Italy)

visit websiteCentro Ricerche FIAT (CRF) is an industrial organisation which has the mission of promoting, developing and transferring innovation in order to provide competitiveness to its clients and partners which include the different companies in the FIAT Group, automotive suppliers, companies from other sectors of industry, SMEs and national and international research agencies.
CRF attains this objective by focusing on the development of innovative products, the implementation of new processes (manufacturing and organisational), the development of advanced methodologies, consultancy and the training of human resources. Priority areas of R&D at CRF include Energy and Environment, Safety and Well-Being and Sustainable Growth.
The core competence of CRF is centred on land transportation: advanced vehicles and propulsion systems, innovative components with associated manufacturing processes and methodologies for product development. In order to cover a relatively broad spectrum of technologies, CRF has developed a global network of contacts comprising national and international research institutes, private and public research organisations, universities and companies through the promotion of common research activities, associations, conferences and seminars, mobility and exchanges of researchers, etc. Increasingly over 35 (94) recent years, CRF has been an active participant in national projects (MIUR, CNR, Italian Ministry of the Environment), regional projects, the EUREKA programme and in over 200 projects with the R&D programmes of the European Union. CRF currently has approximately 980 employees.

In the field of FC, in the last ten years CRF has developed specific solutions at Fuel Cell System and Powertrain level:

  • for cars: from the Seicento Elettra H2 (FC range extender), to the Seicento Hydrogen (FC full performance) using Nuvera FC stacks
  • for buses: IVECO Cityclass FC Hybrid for Turin and for Madrid using UTC FC Systems

At the present time CRF has completely developed the new generation FC Systems (with Nuvera FC stacks) and is applying it to the new Panda Cell Hydrogen (FC full power) and is planning to apply it in 2005 on the IVECO Europolis FC Hybrid.
Moreover CRF actively participated/is participating in this field to the following EU funded projects:

  • in the fifth framework: Fuero, Fueva, Optimerecell, FCTestnet, Direct
  • in the sixth framework: HyTran

In the field of the electric drives for alternative propulsion systems electrically based (pure electric or hybrid) CRF reached a wide experience through a lot of developments. The mail ones are:

  • AC induction electric drives for Fiat Bravo Stalter (for Magneti Marelli 1997), for Fiat Brava Ecodriver with Bosch (1998), for Fiat Multipla Gasdriver (2001), for Fiat Stilo Ecoshift (2002-04), for Fiat Ducato Ecopower (for Microvett 2003) and for IVECO Daily Ivecodriver (2002-03)
  • AC synchronous PM brushless electric drive for Electromagnetic CVT for Fiat Stilo (2001-04)
  • AC synchronous reluctance electric drives for Fiat Cinquecento Elettra with Selin Sistemi (1991-92), for Electromagnetic CVT for Fiat Stilo (2001-04) and for MesDea (2004)

Moreover CRF actively participated in this field to the following EU funded projects: Rita (coordinator), Optelec, ICAPU, Elmas (coordinator) and SUVA.
In parallel CRF has 4 patents in the field of the novel AC permeance solutions (to be developed in the HySys project), 2 patents in the field of high performance and sensorless control for AC electric drives and specific solutions in the field of high performance DC/AC converter integrating DC/DC step-up stages.

In the field of supercapacitors, since 1994 CRF has been following the main development in world-wide research centres and in pre-production plants, increasing its experience in the different technologies and products.
Supercapacitors tests on bench in CRF’s laboratories have been performed in different EU projects:

  • Traction Battery Test Bench Phase II (JOU2-CT92-0069)
  • Traction Battery Test Bench Phase III (JOE3-CT95-0021)
  • ASTOR (ENK6-CT2000-00088)

A complete supercapacitor system with the related power electronic interface has been realised and tested in the EU Project Supercapacitors for E.V. (TAUT-CT-92-0005).
A demonstrator battery supplied electric powertrain, using supercaps as power buffer, has been realised in the EU Project Optelec.
A demonstrator; passenger car, using supercaps for cranking engine, has been realised for CNR Italian Agency. Up to now, CRF is partner in EU project Supercar (ENK6-CT2002-00630), involved in WPs for dimensioning and testing supercapacitors.

In the field of the traction batteries, CRF reached a wide experience through several EV and HEV prototypes realisation in the framework of different projects concerning inside development and National/European projects.
Series and parallel hybrid vehicles prototypes have been realised in ECOPOWER and ECODRIVER projects and highlight on Ni-MH and lithium system has been carried on in several EU projects:

  • SHEDELB (JOE3-CT97-0065)
  • CARLI (BRPR-CT98-0735)
  • CAR INTEGRATION
  • EV-LIFT (TR-232-98-FR)
  • LIBERAL (ENK6-CT2002-00626)

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