Intelligent Energy introduced at the JSAE Annual Congress its Gen4 air-cooled fuel cell power unit.

This new power unit is said by Intelligent Energy (IE) to be designed for easy integration into two-wheel and four-wheel vehicles; the technology has been developed in collaboration with the Suzuki Motor Corporation.

IE added the Gen4 fuel cell power unit incorporates the necessary ancillary components to enable vehicle manufacturers to more easily integrate the system into their products. Incorporating Intelligent Energy’s latest proprietary fuel cell technology, Gen4 is a power-dense, compact and self-contained system. Rated for continuous operation at 3.9 kilowatt and capable of providing in excess of 4 kilowatt for short periods, the power unit has been designed, said IE, as a prime-mover power source for smaller fuel cell electric vehicles and also as a range extender for larger vehicles, offering a zero-emission alternative to conventional internal combustion engines and to address range anxiety often experienced with battery only electric vehicles.

The Gen 4 has been subject to a comprehensive development process to satisfy demanding automotive requirements, explained IE, based upon an extensive operational and performance test program, including shock and vibration testing and repeated thermal cycling over a range of operating temperatures.

IE added a ready-to-scale production line capable of manufacturing Gen4 fuel cells was commissioned in 2013 at SMILE FC System Corporation, the joint venture company established by Intelligent Energy and Suzuki in Yokohama, Japan.

“This is a significant step in designing for manufacture and scalable production volume at a time when a number of automotive OEMs are bringing fuel cell electric vehicles to market, said James Batchelor, Managing Director of Motive, Intelligent Energy. “Our new Gen4 fuel cell power unit will help vehicle manufacturers to save space, reduce weight and cost without compromising on performance. By making Gen4 available as a self-contained fuel cell power unit, we are able to offer new and existing customers a simple solution, reducing time to market for a broad range of zero-emission production vehicles without the high cost and risk associated with in-house development. Applications for Gen4 extend beyond the automotive industry (for example, as an auxiliary power unit or for aerospace applications) and we look forward to expanding sales with our existing customers and markets and also commercializing this product in new and innovative applications.”