The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and KPIT Technologies successfully ran trials of India’s first Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) prototype car running on an indigenously developed fuel cell stack, a statement said on Saturday.HFC technology uses chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen (from air) to generate electrical energy, eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
Further, the fuel cell technology emits only water, thus cutting down the emission of harmful greenhouse gases along with other air pollutants.The fuel cell is a low-temperature PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) type that operates at 65-75 degrees Celsius, which is suitable for vehicular applications.
CSIR and KPIT have developed a 10 kWe (Kilowatt-electric) automotive grade LT-PEMFC (low-temperature PEM fuel cell) stack based on CSIR’s know-how.
“The heart of the PEM fuel cell technology includes the membrane electrode assembly, which is wholly a CSIR know-how.
“KPIT brought in their expertise in stack engineering which included light-weight metal bipolar plate and gasket design, development of the balance of plant (BoP), system integration, control software and electric powertrain that enabled running the fuel cell vehicle. The fuel cell stack uses extremely thin metal bipolar plates, thus reducing the stack weight by about two-thirds,” the statement said.
In 2016, National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune and Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi -both CSIR labs -as part of the Industry Originated Project (IOP) category of the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI) scheme partnered with KPIT for the development of an automotive grade PEM Fuel Cell technology.