A strategic partnership involving polymer electrolyte membrane developer Ballard Power Systems and Forsee Power, a provider of smart battery systems for sustainable electromobility, will advance fully integrated fuel cell and battery technologies optimized for performance, cost and installation for heavy-duty hydrogen mobility applications.

With complementary technologies, customers, verticals and markets, the partnership is expected to increase technological performance, extend service life and reduce customer friction points by providing pre-integrated and optimized electric powertrain solutions for bus, truck, rail, marine and off-road applications.

Hydrogen electric powertrains are made up of a number of key components, including the fuel cell module, battery system, and energy management system (EMS). The fuel cell module, which is powered by A heavy-duty fuel cell power module from Ballard. Source: Ballard Power SystemsA heavy-duty fuel cell power module from Ballard. Source: Ballard Power Systemshydrogen stored in tanks on the vehicle, produces electricity that is supplied to the electric powertrain. Batteries, charged by the electricity from the fuel cell, generate additional energy during sudden variations in load (acceleration or climbing a steep slope, for example). The fuel cell and battery systems are thus complementary as the vehicle can move by means of the fuel cell, battery or both, as needed by the vehicle duty cycle. To ensure optimization and high efficiency between these components a reliable and smart EMS is critical.

For the planned integrated solution, Ballard will supply the fuel cell system and related controls, and Forsee Power will supply the battery system and related battery management system, cooling system and high voltage DC/DC conversion system. The parties will jointly develop the EMS to optimize the hybrid fuel cell and battery system architecture.

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