Rotrex manufactures electric superchargers developed and optimized for fuel cell applications.
The electric supercharger moves air through a fuel cell stack and when mixed with hydrogen the fuel cell stack generates electricity in order to power the vehicle.
Rotrex has participated in several fuel cell related projects and are focusing on automotive applications where the endurance and efficiency levels of the Rotrex units have been proven in a vast variety of environments and conditions.
Looking into the future of engine technology, the fuel cell driven vehicle will generate electricity from a simple electrochemical reaction in which oxygen and hydrogen combine to form water. There are several different types of fuel cells, however the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) and the Solid Oxide are the most common types seen within the automotive sector. With the system emitting only pure water as waste, a fuel cell powered vehicle is the ultimate zero-emissions concept.
Universal to all fuel cells is the need for an efficient, non contaminating air supply. The fuel cell stacks are very sensitive to pollutants, and therefore boosting devices are not allowed to emit oil into the air stream. The fact that the Rotrex traction drive operates under self-established vacuum ensures that this prerequisite is always fulfilled.
The Rotrex E-Charger concept is essentially a combination of a Rotrex traction drive compressor and an electric motor/inverter. As the Rotrex traction drive is by design virtually noise free, the E-Charger concept lends itself very naturally to applications that are otherwise emitting very low noise levels, the fuel cell vehicle being a prime example.
Increasing the pressure of the supplied air brings the benefit of reductions in cost, weight, and higher power density to the fuel cell. Variable boost – achievable per the Rotrex E-Charger compressor – also diminishes the needed capacitor size, since the fuel cell will – due to the immediate increase in boost – rapidly be able to respond to an increase in torque demand.
The low noise and high operational efficiency also makes the Rotrex traction drive air supply the ideal choice for fuel cell based power generators as well as for industrial installations where demands for efficiency, accuracy and reliability are paramount.