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Updated on 3 June 2024

Hyundai Motor Company hydrogen fuel cell system

Hyundai Motor Company is a leader in hydrogen and fuel cell technology. In 1998, the company established a dedicated fuel cell department, paving the way for the development of the world’s most advanced fuel cell technology. In 2000, Hyundai built its first hydrogen vehicle, the Hyundai Santa Fe. After years of intense R&D in multidisciplinary fields, including also electrodes, membranes, controls, and hydrogen storage systems, Hyundai launched its first commercially produced hydrogen car, the Hyundai ix35, in 2013.

Building on the real-life experience gained with the ix35, Hyundai introduced the second-generation hydrogen vehicle, the Hyundai Nexo, in 2018. The Nexo features a fuel cell system with a net electrical power of 85 kW, complemented by an auxiliary battery to optimize performance. The figure below shows an Xcient system manufactured by HTWO Hyundai Motor Company:

Fuel cell system with a nominal power of 85 kWe from Hyundai Motor Company.

Hyundai’s fuel cell technology excels through a compact size and volume, with a high-power density of
0.21 kW per liter. Further, the system shows an outstanding efficiency with a peak value of 62%.
Another advantage of the system is that it can be operated under very harsh environmental conditions;
in fact, the Hyundai Nexo was tested under conditions as cold as -30°C, and as warm as 45°C. Even a
cold start at -30°C is not an issue for the fuel cell. The key technical features of the fuel cell system are summarized in the table below:

ParameterValue
Power (gross)95 kWe
Power (net)85 kWe
Output voltage250-450 V, with DC-DC converter 450 – 828V
Peak efficiency62%
Operating ambient temperature-30 °C to +45 °C
Dry / wet weight175kg / 185kg
Volume453 L
Key technical features of the Hyundai Motor Company HTWO fuel cell system.

The hydrogen fuel cell system developed by Hyundai Motor Company is now ready for mass production, with a rapidly increasing production capacity. Continuous efforts are being made to improve the technology in terms of efficiency, cost, performance, and durability. Moreover, Hyundai is expanding fuel cell applications beyond the automotive sector.

In 2020, Hyundai announced that GRZ Technologies would integrate the fuel cell system for stationary applications, such as peak shaving and emergency backup power supply. The fuel cells are integrated in GRZ’s DASH Power systems with solid-state hydrogen storage.

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