Thursday 27 October 2016

Fuel Cell vehicles: how hydrogen can drive change

Published 21/10/2015 | 02:30

Refuelling the hydrogen cell in the Toyota Mirai
Refuelling the hydrogen cell in the Toyota Mirai

The Fuel Cell fuel is the critical piece of the jigsaw in the Toyota Mirai.

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Hydrogen and oxygen are taken into the Fuel Cell Stack and generate the electricity to run the motor.

A cell is the tiniest item of a stack. It has an electrolyte membrane, negative and positive electrodes and two separators.

These cells are really small and only produce one volt individually - or even less.

But when hundreds (as in the Mirai) are connected you get real power. Hence the word Stack.

It helps if you imagine the Stack as a small power station. It is the 'engine' which powers the battery which drives the electric motor which drives the front axle - and everything is orchestrated by the central control unit.

Clean water

The Mirai has a range of 550km, is 4.9m long, develops 154bhp, 335Nm and has a 361-litre boot. Power is boosted by a converter.

The car emits seven litres of clean water every 100km.

You get a TFT screen for the speedometer and multi-information display.

And there is a huge air con and seat-heating control panel.

Welcome to the Hydrogen Era.

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