DOE Technical Targets for Fuel Cell Systems and Stacks for Transportation Applications

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These tables list the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) technical targets for integrated polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell power systems and fuel cell stacks operating on direct hydrogen for transportation applications. These targets have been developed with input from the U.S. DRIVE Partnership, which includes automotive and energy companies, specifically the Fuel Cell Technical Team.

More information about targets can be found in the Fuel Cells section of the Fuel Cell Technologies Office's Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan.

Technical Targets: 80-kWe (net) Integrated Transportation Fuel Cell Power Systems Operating on Direct Hydrogena

Characteristic Units 2015 Status 2020 Targets Ultimate Targets
Peak energy efficiencyb % 60c 65 70
Power density W/L 640d 650 850
Specific power W/kg 659e 650 650
Costf $/kWnet 53g 40 30
Cold start-up time to 50% of rated power        
     @–20°C ambient temperature seconds 20h 30 30
     @+20°C ambient temperature seconds <10h 5 5
Start-up and shutdown energyi        
     from -20°C ambient temperature MJ 7.5 5 5
     from +20°C ambient temperature MJ 1 1
Durability in automotive drive cycle hours 3,900j 5,000k 8,000k
Start-up/shutdown durabilityl cycles 5,000 5,000
Assi sted start from low temperaturesm °C -40 -40
Unassisted start from low temperaturesm °C - 30n -30 -30

a Targets exclude hydrogen storage, power electronics, and electric drive.
b Ratio of DC output energy to the lower heating value of the input fuel (hydrogen). Peak efficiency occurs at less than 25% rated power.
c W. Sung, Y. Song, K. Yu, and T. Lim, "Recent Advances in the Development of Hyundai-Kia’s Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles," SAE Int. J. Engines 3.1 (2010): 768–772, doi: 10.4271/2010-01-1089.
d J. Juriga, Hyundai Motor Group's Development of the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle, May 10, 2012.
e U. Eberle, B. Muller, and R von Helmolt, Energy & Environmental Science 5 (2012): 8780.
f Cost projected to high-volume production (500,000 systems per year).
g Cost at 500,000 systems per year based on an analysis of state-of-the-art components that have been developed and demonstrated primarily through the Fuel Cells sub-program at the laboratory scale. Additional efforts would be needed for integration of components into a complete automotive system that meets durability requirements in real-world conditions. DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Record 15015, "Fuel Cell System Cost—2015."
h Based on average of status values reported at 2010 SAE World Congress (W. Sung, Y-I. Song, K-H Yu, T.W. Lim, SAE-2-10-01-1089). These systems do not necessarily meet other system-level targets.
i H2 fuel energy (lower heating value) to include the fuel energy required to account for the electrical energy consumed from cold start.
j Average projected time to 10% voltage degradation for the fleet with the highest durability, as reported in J. Kurtz et al., "Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Evaluation," 2015 Annual Merit Review (slide 9). Testing reflects real-world driving, not a simulated drive cycle. Catalyst loading was not reported, and did not necessarily match the target value of 0.125 mgPGM/cm2 (Table 3.4.7).
k Need to meet or exceed at temperatures of 80°C up to peak temperature. Based on polarization curve and durability testing protocols in Tables P.6 and P.7, with <10% drop in rated power after test.
l Measured according to protocol in Table P.8, with less than 5% decrease in voltage at 1.2 A/cm2.
m 8-hour soak at stated temperature must not impact subsequent achievement of targets.
n Press Release: Honda Demonstrates the FCX Concept Vehicle, Sep 25, 2006; Associated Press, Toyota Develops a New Fuel Cell Hybrid, June 6, 2008.

Technical Targets: 80-kWe (net) Transportation Fuel Cell Stacks Operating on Direct Hydrogena,b

Characteristic Units 2015 Status 2020 Targets Ultimate Targets
Stack power densityc W/L 3,000d 2,250 2,500
Stack specific power W/kg 2,000e 2,000 2,000
Performance @ 0.8 Vf mA/cm2 300 300
Costg $/kWnet 26h 20 15
Durability in automotive drive cyclei hours 3,900j 5.000 8,000
Start-up/shutdown durabilityk cycles 5,000 5,000
Q/ΔTil kW/°C 1.9m 1.45 1.45
Robustness (cold operation)n see footnote 0.7 0.7
Robustness (hot operation)o see footnote 0.7 0.7
Robustness (cold transient)p see footnote 0.7 0.7

a Excludes hydrogen storage, power electronics, electric drive, and fuel cell ancillaries: thermal, water, and air management systems.
b Stacks operating on direct hydrogen and air at up to 150 kPa (absolute) inlet pressure.
c Power refers to net power (i.e., stack power minus projected BOP power). Volume is "box" volume, including dead space.
d Press Release: Toyota Motor Company Announces Status of its Environmental Technology Development, Future Plans, Sep 24, 2012.
e M. Hanlon, "Nissan doubles power density with new Fuel Cell Stack," Oct 13, 2011.
f Measured using polarization curve protocol in Table P.6.
g Cost projected to high-volume production (500,000 stacks per year).
h Cost at 500,000 stacks per year based on an analysis of state-of-the-art components that have been developed and demonstrated primarily through the Fuel Cell Technologies Office Fuel Cells sub-program at the laboratory scale. Additional efforts would be needed for integration of components into a complete automotive system that meets durability requirements in real-world conditions. DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Record 15015, "Fuel Cell System Cost—2015."
i Need to meet or exceed at temperatures of 80°C up to peak temperature. Based on polarization curve and durability testing protocols in Tables P.6 and P.7, with <10% drop in rated power after test.
j Average projected time to 10% voltage degradation for the fleet with the highest durability, as reported in J. Kurtz et al., "Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Evaluation," 2015 Annual Merit Review (slide 9). Testing reflects real-world driving. Catalyst loading was not reported, and did not necessarily match the target value of 0.125 mgPGM/cm2.
k Measured according to protocol in Table P.8, with less than 5% decrease in voltage at 1.2 A/cm2.
l Q/ΔTi = [Stack power (90 kW) x (1.25 V - Voltage at Rated Power) / (Voltage at Rated Power)] / [(Stack Coolant out temp (°C) - Ambient temp (40°C)]. Target assumes 90 kW stack gross power required for 80 kW net power, and is to be measured using the polarization curve protocol in Table P.6 except inlet humidification and coolant outlet temperature. Inlet humidification is up to 40% RH and coolant outlet temperature is up to maximum operating temperature. Cathode and anode inlet pressures are up to 150 kPa (absolute).
m Based on a voltage of 0.67 V and stack coolant outlet temperature of 80°C.
n Ratio of fuel cell stack voltage at 30°C to fuel cell stack voltage at 80°C operation at 1.0 A/cm2, measured using the protocol for a polarization curve found in Table P.6. A 25°C dew point is used only for 30°C operation.
o Ratio of fuel cell stack voltage at 90°C to fuel cell stack voltage at 80°C operation at 1.0 A/cm2, measured using the protocol for a polarization curve found in Table P.6. A 59°C dew point is used for both 90°C and 80°C operations.
p Ratio of fuel cell stack voltage at 30°C transient to fuel cell stack voltage at 80°C steady-state operation at 1.0 A/cm2, measured using the protocol for a polarization curve found in Table P.6. A 25°C dew point is used only for 30°C operation. 30°C transient operation is at 1 A/cm2 for at least 15 minutes then lowered to 0.1 A/cm2 for 3 minutes without changing operating conditions. After 3 minutes, the current density is returned to 1 A/cm2. The voltage is measured 5 seconds after returning to 1 A/cm2.