Automotive Fuel Cell applications require compressed air for several reasons, among them are:
- Weight and stack cost reduction requires higher density gas to achieve a higher Fuel Cell power density.
- Vehicle Acceleration response time require an air moving system. The compressor system needs to feed the Fuel Cell stack to top operational pressure in typically 100 to 800 milliseconds.
- Stack temperature control is simplified by the inevitable temperature rise in the air compressor.
Fuel Cell Compressors of screw type have an extraordinary functional potential when used in Automotive Fuel Cell systems. Specific design parameters for Fuel Cell applications are extremely low weight, radically reduced inertia and multifunctional design integration.
SRM, and SRM:s licensees, currently run several Fuel Cell compressor development projects together with the automotive industry. Several new design concepts regarding rotor- and general design as well as drive- and control systems have been developed specifically for Fuel Cell applications.
A number of Fuel Cell Compressor systems have passed the laboratory phase and are installed in prototype Fuel Cells operating in the field.
SRM expects these new developments to be useful also within conventional compressor design within a few years time.