Honda FCX Clarity Unleashes Next-Generation Fuel Cell Cars
American Honda Motor Co., Inc unveiled its FCX Clarity car which runs on Hydrogen fuel and could offer consumers 74 miles per gallon. The Honda Clarity is 20 percent more fuel efficient and has a powertrain that is 45 percent more compact. The vehicle also offers up to 10 percent energy efficiency.
The hydrogen automobile might be a few years ahead of its time. Consumers will have legitimate questions on how to refuel the car. The method of substituting gasoline with hydrogen in the FCX Clarity does have its pros and cons.
There is one thing certain, which involves cleaner technology, is that hydrogen fuel cell is probably the cleanest alternative to gas because it emits only water vapor into the air. Hydrogen vehicles are also used in buses in metropolitan cities to help reduce emissions. While the fuel cell is not a new technology, it can help to reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
How Does The Honda Clarity Work On Hydrogen?
A fuel cell vehicle is powered by an electric motor running on electricity generated by a hydrogen-powered fuel cell stack. The Honda E-Drive electric motor is used to reduce the amount of CO2 being released in our atmosphere. The compact coaxial motor is quieter and can run at higher RPM.
For energy efficiency and speed, the automobile uses a lithium-ion battery pack which captures lost energy during deceleration and braking. The battery is lightweight and smaller than traditional hybrid cars. It is located under the rear seat of the vehicle in an effort to provide more trunk space.
One of Honda’s new breakthrough technologies is called the Vertical Flow (V Flow) fuel cell stack. The design is smaller, allowing for better packaging efficiency, and it allows room for more passengers. This technology allows higher cell voltage stability and reduces the amount of heat generated.
The V Flow stack also plays a role in the powertrain for the FCX Clarity. It provides the motor and powertrain components with a 30 percent increase vehicle efficiency. The automobile powertrain also has noise reduction measures which help the fuel cell car operate quietly.
Fuel Cell Car Safety
There is still the concern with hydrogen safety. Honda has placed sensors located throughout the car to provide a warning in the event of a hydrogen leak. Should such a leak occur, the ventilation system is activated and an automatic system closes the main cut-off valves on the hydrogen tank.
The high-voltage lines are electrically isolated. In the event of a collision, the system controller automatically shuts off the flow of hydrogen and electric current. Honda’s repeated flood and fire testing have confirmed a very high level of safety and reliability. Also, to prevent reverse flow from the tank, the hydrogen filler inlet has an integrated check valve.