Bosch Engineering develops control unit for fuel cell systems
Bosch Engineering GmbH presents fuel cell control unit (FCCU) for off-highway applications for the first time at the MobiliTec specialist trade show at the 2014 Hannover trade fair.
The FCCU is based on Bosch automotive large-scale series production hardware. Together with newly developed software for controlling fuel cell systems, it has the flexibility to be used in various mobile and stationary applications and supports a wide variety of system configurations. The software features integrated hydrogen, air, and coolant control, so it can run a large number of operating strategies to increase energy efficiency and keep consumption to a minimum.
Electrification of off-highway applications – among them airport ground support vehicles, municipal vehicles, and industrial trucks – is being driven by the tightening of emissions legislation for internal-combustion engines with over 56 kilowatts of output (EU Stage IV and U.S. Tier 4 Final). This is one of the reasons why fuel cell systems are already widespread in these sectors and why hydrogen filling stations are already in place for many airports and vehicle fleets. Fuel cells generate electricity from the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, which emits nothing but pure water vapor. This makes them ideal for off-highway applications such as forklift trucks and mobile lift platforms, which must operate with zero emissions inside buildings and facilities. What’s more, vehicles with a fuel-cell powertrain are quieter and experience a much lower level of vibrations.
Bosch Engineering’s FCCU will first be applied in the “Innovative On-Board Energiewandler” (InnoROBE) project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The company is providing the project with the central control unit for a fuel cell system that will serve as an energy source for an electrically powered baggage towing truck to increase its zero-emission range.
Bosch strongly believes in Fuel Cell technology. I think that they are very optimistic and that hydrogen fuel cells will be wide spread much later. Do you think this kind of integrated ECU will improve the adoption of such expensive technology?