In the future, hydrogen fuel cell cars will also be able to provide energy for houses and offices. These cars run on electricity which is produced from a hydrogen fuel cell. If the vehicle is not moving, the fuel cell can also produce electricity, providing power to many homes. Recently, Hyundai presented the IX35 FCEV in the Netherlands; one of these cars has been donated to TU Delft's The Green Village for research purposes. Researchers want to investigate the efficiency and technology of power supply in fuel cell cars.
Fuel cell cars can provide a more efficient and cleaner means of transport. A fuel cell car is an electric car with a fuel cell which produces electricity from hydrogen and oxygen. Cars are usually only used 5% of the time. The rest of the time, it is in the car park. If the car is parked, the fuel cell can still produce electricity. This electricity can be uses in homes and offices. Fuel cell cars have two very useful (and clean) by-products: water and heat.
Most cars run on petrol, diesel or gas. These motors are not very energy-efficient – somewhere between 25 and 40% – and they generate CO2 emissions. That is why many car manufacturers are developing alternatives, such as the fuel cell car. Fuel cell can achieve electricity efficiencies of 40-45% using hydrogen obtained from gas. This is more efficient than the current methods of electricity production.
The Car as Power Plant
In the Car as Power Plant project, the TU Delft is investigating how to optimize all the processes involved in the use of these cars and the production of energy using hydrogen fuel cells. From the production of hydrogen to setting up pumps at gas stations, from improving the life span and value of the fuel cell to connecting the cars to the grid. The TU Delft is collaborating with partners such as GasTerra, Q-Park, Stedin, CNG net, RDW, Bovemij, Shell, and HyTruck. Last year, the university received a grant from the NWO's Uncertainty Reduction in Sorrow Energy Systems program (URSES). GasTerra financed the fuel cell car.