Quiet Reliable and Compact Fuel Cell Based APU (QRCFC-APU)EPA Contract Number: EPD06019
Title: Quiet Reliable and Compact Fuel Cell Based APU (QRCFC-APU)
Investigators: Namazian, Mehdi
Small Business: Altex Technologies Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: March 1, 2006 through August 31, 2006
Project Amount: $69,981
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2006) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Particulate Matter , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
There are more than 480,000 trucks on U.S. roads, and each vehicle produces up to 20 tons CO2, 420 lbs of CO, and 250 lbs of nitrous oxides per year while idling to produce auxiliary power needed for the driver’s comfort. The overall goal of this project is a Quiet Reliable and Compact Fuel Cell Base Auxiliary Power Unit (QRCFC-APU) to reduce significantly idling emissions. QRCFC overcomes the challenges with the diesel fuel reforming and the current fuel cell systems limitations to reliably convert diesel fuel to power on board the truck and replace idling. Under Phase I, QRCFC will be designed and its critical components and processes tested to provide the foundation for Phase II, in which the system will be fabricated and demonstrated. If QRCFC-APU penetrates just 20 percent of the truck APU market, it will result in the reduction of more than 12,000 tons on NOx; 20,160 tons of CO; and 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions each year.
Idling trucks result in substantial fuel and maintenance cost for the truck owner and driver. Current diesel engine-based APU generators are too noisy and inefficient and lack the longevity and reliability needed for extended operation. When QRCFC-APU is available, the cost savings achieved by replacing truck idling with QRCFC-APUs, along with its quietness and high efficiency, will drive the commercialization of the system. This economic driver and other system attributes will allow QRCFC-APU to capture a substantial portion of the potential $2 billion market for truck APUs.