Fuel Cell Systems Development and Integration
Office of Automotive Engineering

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image of fuel cell transient response data

As part of the SwRI fuel cell integration activities, engineers demonstrated a fuel cell-powered electric drive system for a Class 8 tractor.

image of fuel cell transient response data

A laboratory setup for a fuel cell-powered auxiliary power unit at SwRI.

The basic simplicity of fuel cells promises high reliability. Fuel cells require ancillary equipment in some applications:

  • Manifolds
  • Bowers
  • Heat exchangers
  • Humidifiers
  • Condensers
  • Valves
  • Filters

Each application is unique, requiring careful hardware and software design to achieve optimal performance.

For example, stationary fuel cell systems have different design criteria than mobile systems, and specific applications typically have unique equipment goals.

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) engineers use a systems approach to fuel cell development and integration by first determining the application requirements. Carefully delineating these requirements and goals at the beginning of a project allows engineers to focus on designing and optimizing a system that works for the application.

Fuel Cell Development & Integration Expertise

SwRI maintains expertise in the development and integration of the following fuel cell systems:

  • Mobile
  • Stationary (distributed generation)
  • Portable
  • Special applications or fuels

Fuel Cell System Support

With extensive experience in energy production and distribution, our engineers are highly qualified to provide system-level support for fuel cell systems development in the following areas:

  • Life expectancy enhancement
  • System safety analysis
  • Failure mode analysis
  • Application integration (heat and power, PEM, solid oxide, alkaline, and phosphoric acid fuel cells)
  • Energy-storage development for load-leveling or peak load management
  • Power electronics
  • System and subsystem control strategies
  • System efficiency optimization (minimization of parasitic losses)
  • Fuel contamination studies

Related Terminology

fuel cell systems  •  fuel cell optimization  •  fuel cell modeling  •  fuel cell evaluation and testing  •  fuel cell systems development  •  fuel cell testing  •  stationary fuel cell systems  •  fuel cell design  •  fuel cell optimization  •  portable fuel cells

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.