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Nissan Breakthrough: Doubles Fuel Cell Power Density

 Nissan Breakthrough: Doubles Fuel Cell Power Density
Nissan Fuel Cell stack

35 per cent cost reduction

Despite their unsettling X-Trail Fuel Cell Vehicle Nürburgring record run recently, Nissan is making serious developments with a new fuel cell stack with double the power density of the previous generation stack. Additionally, the stack uses half the amount of platinum, a key material, resulting in 35% cost savings. Nissan test prototypes carrying the improved fuel cell stacks will be operational by the end of this year.

See press release below for technical details.

Source: Nissan
Published Aug 6, 2008 12:00 pm By Brian Potter

NISSAN DOUBLES THE POWER DENSITY OF NEXT GENERATION FUEL CELL STACK

- 35% cost reduction achieved -

TOKYO (August 6, 2008) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has developed a new fuel cell stack with double the power density of the previous generation stack. The new fuel cell stack also achieves a 35% cost reduction mainly due to half the use of platinum, a key material used in the production of fuel cell stacks. Test fleets incorporating the improved fuel cell stacks will be operational by the end of this year.

MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly): Double the power density is achieved through improved conductivity of the electrolyte layer within the MEA, where the main chemical reaction occurs, coupled with a more densely-packed cell structure.

Cell Structure: A more densely-packed cell structure is achieved through the replacement of the carbon separator with a new thin metal separator. The separator functions to break down the hydrogen, oxygen and cooling water necessary for the chemical reaction. A specific coating applied to the separator helps improve conductivity and prevents chemical corrosion, leading to increased efficiency and durability throughout the fuel cell stack’s life-cycle.

Electrode: Higher durability electrode material results in a 50% reduction of the platinum required compared to the previous generation. This in turn, provides a significant breakthrough in the cost of these components.

Stack size and cost: The combined improvements in the cell result in double the power density, which enables a downsizing of the fuel cell stack size by one-third and significant cost reduction, without sacrificing performance. Compared to the previous generation, the new generation stack’s power output is increased 1.4 times from 90kW to 130kW, which can power larger vehicles. Stack size is reduced by 75% to 68L from 90L, which allows for improved packaging flexibility.

The next generation fuel cell stack is amongst a range of eco-friendly technologies being pursued by Nissan under its Nissan Green Program 2010, aimed at developing new technologies, products and services that can lead to real-world reductions in vehicle CO2 emissions, cleaner emissions, and recycling of resources.

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Comments (10)

 kevoluetion kevoluetion
Looks like an X box
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August 7, 2008 7:40 am
 Nurchus Nurchus
Fuel Cell technology helps conserve more energy? Don't they create more waste to even be considered as conserving energy costs, especially with petrol cars?
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August 6, 2008 11:37 pm
 Joe_Limon Joe_Limon
oh fuel cells... no mention of an increased efficiency. One can only assume that using more hydrogen at at time in a smaller space would only decrease the amount of energy recaptured per pound of hydrogen. In other words this is an awesome way to use up all that hydrogen you just purchased/invested energy in, even faster!
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August 6, 2008 11:22 pm
 188f 188f
I thought this was the new Xbox when I first seen it. LOL
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August 6, 2008 8:26 pm
 asif asif
oh you mean they should share their technology with the rest? what!? yet when they improve on another auto nations technology the japanese get branded unoriginal and copycats1 give me a break!
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August 6, 2008 6:52 pm
 pscs pscs
if they don't share the technology with other car manufacturers they aren't exactly solving the climate change problem with this supposedly "green" fuel cell...
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August 6, 2008 6:33 pm
 Xanavi23 Xanavi23
There we go, dammit....the price of these different fuel sources needs to drop more and more. I hope Nissan and others keep at it.
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August 6, 2008 5:22 pm