Erickson, Paul A., Daniel A. Betts, Timothy C. Simmons, Vernon P. Roan, Jr. (2000) An Analysis of Start-Up for an Operational Fuel Cell Transit Bus. Society of Automotive Engineers Technical Paper Series (2000-01-3471)
Session: Fuel Cells
The start-up process of an operational phosphoric acid fuel cell transit bus has been investigated. The bus employs a hybrid arrangement of a 50 kW Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC) engine in parallel with Nickel-Cadmium batteries on a 30-foot heavy-duty transit bus chassis manufactured by Bus Manufacturing Inc. The bus uses methanol as the primary fuel, which is processed through a steam-reformer to produce hydrogen used in the fuel cell. Start-up of the fuel cell bus is defined as the time that is required to heat up the fuel cell and subcomponents to operating temperatures and to establish operating flow conditions. While in general fuel cell vehicles produce low emissions and are very efficient while operating, start-up of the fuel cell bus represents a significant time requirement, power and fuel consumption, and considerable pollutant emissions with no usable output power. A description of the start-up procedure for the bus, fuel and power usage, average time required, and analysis of emissions data are presented.