SymPowerco has broadly expanded the objectives of the HEV Project to include feasibility studies for the early commercialization of multiple Hybrid Power System configurations. The project is expected to determine optimal battery requirements for the HEVs, to test multiple types of batteries, to confirm System Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) specifications for SymPowerco’s Hybrid Power Systems, to determine the fuel cell power delivery requirements of the Hybrid Power Systems under various load conditions and to determine the design issues involving the retrofitting of existing plug-in electric vehicles with SymPowerco’s fuel cell and hybrid power technologies.
SymPowerco has identified extensive markets for Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Systems including golf carts, small industrial vehicles, three-wheeled taxis in the Far East (Tuk-Tuks), motorbikes and similar small vehicles.
Many national and local governments in the Far East wish to replace millions of gas-powered motorbikes and taxis with electric vehicles that do not require plug-in rechargers.
It is anticipated that Hybrid Electric Vehicles will require as much as 70% less battery weight compared to plug-in electric vehicles. With batteries being constantly recharged by SymPowerco’s Flowing Electrolyte Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, a golf cart, for example, could weigh as much as 200 pounds less than a plug-in golf cart and would operate indefinitely by occasional refueling with methanol, an abundant and economical alcohol.
SymPowerco Corporation develops advanced fuel cell and power delivery systems for the rapidly growing personal transportation and portable power system markets that are being created by today’s energy and environmental challenges.
Hybrid Power Systems
Imagine your car’s mileage suddenly increasing to over 100 mpg, without any apparent loss in performance. Imagine eliminating over 200 lbs of lead acid batteries in golf carts. Hybrid Power Systems will make these advances possible in the near future. SymPowerco intends to develop and market Hybrid Power Systems through our majority-owned (70%) subsidiary, Polygenic Power Systems. A hybrid power system has two or more power components performing cooperative power-supplying functions.
Almost all vehicles must have a means of storing onboard energy. Vehicles that use internal combustion engines must store energy in the form of gasoline, diesel fuel or alternative fuels like alcohol or natural gas. Of course, the internal combustion engine produces polluting emissions and noise and most engines burn non-renewable hydrocarbon fuels.
Electric vehicles store electrical energy in batteries. They are quiet and electric motors are very efficient. However, to store enough electrical energy to be practical, these vehicles must carry huge batteries. The typical golf cart, for instance, has lead-acid batteries weighing as much as 350 lb! The batteries have barely enough capacity for two rounds of golf before they must be recharged. And when the batteries run down it takes several hours to recharge them.
Imagine a power system in an electric golf cart or other electric vehicle that:
* Eliminates over 60% of the battery weight and cost.
* Reduces vehicle structural weight because of less battery weight.
* Requires far less energy to run due to the reduced weight.
* Recharges its own batteries while it’s running, never needs to be “plugged in”.
* Eliminates the large charging stations where the vehicles are “plugged in”.
* Converts readily-available and environmentally-friendly methanol into electricity, onboard.
* Operates in a quiet, clean and safe manner.
A hybrid power system is a combination of a power producer and the means to store that power in an energy storage medium such as lead-acid batteries or other battery types. In a golf cart or other such vehicle, peak power demand is satisfied with batteries while the batteries are continuously charged with a power supply such as a fuel cell.
The average power demand in most vehicles is only 25 to 35% of peak demand. For instance, an automobile with a 200 hp engine requires only 50 hp or less while cruising on flat ground. Peak power capability is only used during acceleration, climbing hills or pulling larger loads.
In a hybrid electric vehicle, the batteries store sufficient energy to supply the peak demand but the average demand is only 25% to 30% of the peak.
The fuel cell therefore needs to be capable of producing a steady “trickle” charge at or slightly above the average power demand. For example, preliminary calculations show that a 0.25 kW fuel cell with a 0.75 kWhr battery pack hybrid system would provide more than the equivalent power of the 3kWhr lead-acid battery system currently used for golf carts indicating a 75% reduction in required battery capacity (and weight). And because peak demand is supplied by the battery, the output of the fuel cell needs to be 70% less than the vehicle’s peak power requirements.
So, because the batteries can be charged “on the fly”, far less weight in batteries can be used and the power supply needs to produce only slightly more than the average vehicle demand, together resulting in a far lighter, economical and environmentally friendly vehicle while still maintaining superior vehicle performance.
SymPowerco, through its majority owned subsidiary Polygenic Power Systems, has acquired the rights to an advanced power producer, a Flowing Electrolyte Direct Methanol Fuel Cell and the rights to use advanced battery technologies in hybrid applications.
Hybrid Power Systems typically consist of an electrical source, a charger and a battery. Although SymPowerco’s fuel cell technologies will work well with lead acid and other battery types in hybrid power applications, the company has nevertheless pursued other, more advanced, battery technologies.
The company has acquired the exclusive rights to use a new flat-plate rechargeable alkaline battery technology with our FE DMFC. The flat-plate alkaline battery technology is inexpensive, environmentally far friendlier than NiMH, NiCad and lead acid batteries and has no “memory” effects. More importantly, this battery is far less expensive than lithium batteries of comparable capability. This battery technology is inherently safer than lithium batteries that can overheat and rupture.
Although SymPowerco’s FE DMFC forms the heart of our Hybrid Power System initiatives, the company will leverage all available technological advancements in order to produce state-of-the-art power supply technologies.