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Safety Compliance Verification of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Exhaust


NREL has been developing compliance verification tools for allowable hydrogen levels prescribed by the Global Technical Regulation Number 13 (GTR-13) for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). As per GTR-13, FCEV exhaust is to remain below 4 vol% H2 over a 3-second moving average and shall not at any time exceed 8 vol% H2 and that this requirement is to be verified with an analyzer that has a response time of less than 300 ms. To be enforceable, a means to verify regulatory requirements must exist. In response to this need, NREL developed a prototype analyzer that meets the GTR metrological requirements for FCEV exhaust analysis. The analyzer was tested on a commercial fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) under simulated driving conditions using a chassis dynamometer at the Emissions Research and Measurement Section of Environment and Climate Change Canada and FCEV exhaust was successfully profiled. Although the prototype FCEV Exhaust Analyzer met the metrological requirements of GTR-13, the stability of the hydrogen sensor was adversely impacted by condensed water in the sample gas. FCEV exhaust is at an elevated temperature and nearly saturated with water vapor. Furthermore, condensed water is present in the form of droplets. Condensed water in the sample gas collected from FCEV exhaust can accumulate on the hydrogen sensing element, which would not only block access of hydrogen to the sensing element but can also permanently damage the sensor electronics. In the past year the design of the gas sampling system was modified to mitigate against the transport of liquid water to the sensing element. Laboratory testing confirmed the effectiveness of the modified sampling system water removal strategy while maintaining the measurement range and response time required by GTR-13. Testing of the upgraded analyzer design on an FCEV operating on a chassis dynamometer is scheduled for the summer of 2021.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Canada ; United States

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