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Nissan Motors have designed and developed its first in-house fuel cell stack, as well as a new high-pressure hydrogen storage system.
Fuel cell vehicles (FCV’s) are regarded to be one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles as they only emit water as a by-product.
Nissan said that the new technologies significantly improve the performance required of FCVs, including acceleration and driving range.
Nissan will begin in-vehicle testing of the new fuel cell stack to further improve its overall performance and reliability and have already made numerous improvements to its previous fuel stacks which has meant that Nissan has been able to succeed in increasing power output while achieving a more compact design.
Nissan’s new stack can be reduced in volume to approximately 60% of the previous stack while providing the same level of power.
The newly developed 70 MPa high-pressure composite hydrogen storage cylinder increases an FCV’s hydrogen storage capacity by approximately 30% compared with the previous 35 MPa high-pressure hydrogen storage cylinder, without any change to the cylinder’s dimensions. This increased storage capacity can dramatically extend the driving range of FCVs.
The new high-pressure hydrogen storage cylinder is made of an inner aluminium liner and an outer shell of several wound layers of a high-strength, high-elasticity carbon fibre. The winding pattern of the sting-like carbon fibre has been optimally designed to achieve high strength for withstanding 70 MPa of pressure.
Nissan is engaged in wide-ranging research and development activities aimed at popularizing the use of FCVs and has been conducting public-road driving tests in Japan since 2002 using prototype FCVs approved by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Nissan began leasing its X-TRAIL FCV to a limited number of customers, starting with oil refiner Cosmo Oil Co. in March 2004.
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