UFI Filters, a leader in filtration and thermal management, marks an important step forward in the development of technologies for fuel cell applications. The company has been chosen to supply the cathode air filter module for the Changan Deep Blue SL03, a vehicle that the automaker claims is the first series production fuel cell car in China.
Officially launched last year as an electric vehicle, the Changan Deep Blue SL03, powered with a fuel cell powertrain, will be launched this summer. It is equipped with Shenli Technology's 55 kW fuel cell stack system and can achieve an ultra-high power generation rate of 20.5 kWh per kg of hydrogen power generation (hydrogen energy conversion efficiency >60%). The vehicle’s cruising range can reach 730 km under average driving conditions.
Under CLTC driving conditions (China's light vehicle driving conditions), hydrogen energy consumption is only 0.65 kg per 100 km, and ultra-fast refuelling can be achieved in 3 minutes. The battery system has a long service life of 10,000 hours and performance degradation is < 10%.
The fuel cell air intake system for the Changan Deep Blue SL03 has been developed by UFI Group in its research center and production plant in Shanghai, Sofima Automotive Filter Co., Ltd. It is a complete module that includes the air intake pipe assembly, air filter assembly, and air outlet pipe assembly. It is part of the SUPER ADSORBER range, the brand that represents cathode air filtration systems designed and manufactured by UFI Filters.
Giorgio Girondi, UFI Filters Group Chairman, comments: “This is a great achievement for our company which testifies to our commitment in the production of high-level technologies for New Energy Vehicles. Changan Deep Blue SL03 has sped up the growth of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in China's passenger car market and independent brands such as SAIC, Great Wall, GAC and Hongqi have also accelerated their interest in the technology. All this has led to a revival of the hydrogen-powered passenger car market. Our commitment doesn’t stop there. Thanks to our UFI Cell dedicated R&D center, based in Italy, we are also active in the development of other technologies for fuel cell applications, such as deionizers and membrane electrode assemblies (MEA).”
The fuel cell systems that are currently available on the market use proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). The presence of impurities and harmful gases such as SOX, NOX, H2S, CO in the air can dramatically affect the performance and life of these cells. For this reason, UFI Filters has been developing devices related to the use of hydrogen in fuel cells and its corresponding filtration issues since 2017, producing cathode air filters panels or cylindric cartridges with a dual filtration function. The first layer, made of synthetic media, works as a physical barrier to solid particulates. The second layer, made with non-woven fabric blended with active carbon, has the function of absorbing gaseous contaminants. Therefore, the selection of filter media for the fuel cell cathode air filter system is very critical and Changan has relied on UFI Filters’ expertise for the first fuel cell light-vehicle they are launching on the Chinese market. The SUPER ADSORBER cathode air filter developed for Changan is a panel type with a flow resistance of almost 2 kPa and dust holding capacity higher than 180 g.
Senior Account Manager DACH / UK