DOE Awards Advanced Hybrid and Fuel Cell Technology Grants
March 8, 2004
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program has awarded project grants to Ballard Power Systems of Dearborn, Michigan, and Automotive Integrated Electronics Corporation (AIEC) of Phoenix, Arizona, to investigate advanced technologies for use in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.
Ballard Power Systems has long been an industry leader in the development and manufacture of power electronics and motor drive products for electric vehicle and stationary applications. For this effort, the company will extend its expertise to designing and developing a state-of-the-art DC-to-DC converter for use in fuel cell vehicles to efficiently regulate the high voltage from the fuel cell down to 14 and 42 volts.
AIEC has been awarded a Phase I grant to complete a design study on a high-temperature motor controller application specific integrated circuit. This chip will have enhanced controller features and be capable of controlling two motors independently. Use of this chip for hybrid and fuel cell automotive applications should significantly reduce the costs and size associated with the tasks of controlling a traction and accessory motor in the vehicle.
These two efforts are expected to span 2 1/2 years and involve a 50% cost share commitment from each company. Oak Ridge National Laboratory will oversee the projects through DOE's Power Electronics and Electric Machinery activities.