Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle becomes power plant for a home

Researchers at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands engineered and installed an electrical outlet socket on a Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle that converts the zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) into a power plant when standing still

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In close collaboration with Hyundai Motor Company and other commercial partners, their conversion gave the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell a capacity of 10 kW, sufficient to power on average ten homes.

With the electrical outlet socket in place, the innovators modified the car in such a way that it can distribute its electricity to the grid or directly to a house, for instance to complement the available wind and solar power.

“The researchers led by professor Ad van Wijk at TU Delft are the first ones in Europe who have managed to make the next big step towards a more sustainable future based on fuel cell cars as a clean source of energy,” says Frank Meijer, head of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle at Hyundai Motor Europe. “Fuel cell cars produce electricity, heat and clean water out of hydrogen that can be used in homes, schools and offices and we are particularly proud that the first car to provide that kind of clean energy is a Hyundai Motor ix35 Fuel Cell.”

A car as a power plant

Professor Ad van Wijk’s research group is called Future Energy Systems and belongs to the Process & Energy department at the faculty of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering (3mE). Their work is focused on integrated system applications of the fuel cell, as for example in the programme ‘Car as Power Plant’.

The idea is that car owners use their vehicles for transportation only 5% of the time. Unlike a fossil fuel powered car, a fuel cell vehicle, when parked, can produce electricity from hydrogen - cleaner and more efficiently than the current electricity system and with useful “waste” products heat and fresh water.

These applications will be researched and tested in the next stage of the programme. The project is part of the Green Village initiative of the TU Delft to promote innovative systems for a sustainable future.

And in the United Kingdom the success story of Hyundai Motor’s hydrogen venture continues as Aberdeen City Council and Co-wheels car club added four ix35 Fuel Cells to their fleet of models. The cars will be made available to the public through the car club on a pay-as-you-go basis and to Aberdeen businesses for trial.

This order takes the nationwide total of Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles to 15 with more than 250 across Europe. Those vehicles in the UK are already in use by Johnson Matthey, TfL, Air Products, ITM Power and Anglo American.

Hyundai Motor UK CEO, Tony Whitehorn said: “As more and more cities throughout the UK begin to improve their hydrogen facilities, we’re seeing greater demand for our ix35 Fuel Cell.

It’s fantastic to be a part of Aberdeen’s hydrogen development in this way, especially because the cars are going to be used on a day-to-day basis by members of the public.

We want them to experience all the reasons why we think hydrogen is the way forward in terms of usability, refinement and ultra-clean motoring.”

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