Image Courtesy of Ballard Power Systems

Image Courtesy of Ballard Power Systems

Ballard Power Systems unveiled its 9th generation, high-performance fuel cell engine, the FCmove®-XD at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo 2024, in Las Vegas. Mircea Gradu, Ballard’s Chief Engineering Officer, highlighted the company’s strong focus on enhancing the economic value proposition for heavy-duty mobility customers: “With the introduction of the FCmove®-XD, Ballard continues to push the boundaries and reset the industry standard for PEM fuel cell engine performance. This innovative engine delivers significant improvements in reliability, durability, efficiency, power density, scalability, serviceability, and total cost of ownership.”     

The FCmove®-XD is the most powerful in the industry for heavy-duty applications, boasting an engine volumetric power density of 0.36 kW/L and a gravimetric power density of 0.48 kW/kg. The scalable 120 kW fuel cell engine integrates DC/DC regulated output, enabling up to three modules to operate as one system with a single interface, capable of delivering a combined 360 kW of zero-emission power output.

Designed to last over 30,000 hours of operation – or over one million miles in truck operation at typical duty cycles – the FCmove®-XD engine offers class-leading durability and a low total cost of ownership. Its innovative “open architecture” design and other new design advances led to several important performance improvements compared to the prior-generation engine.

Top Innovations of Ballard’s latest-gen FCmove®-XD

  • 120 kW power output from the latest high-performance single-stack.
  • 33% reduction in total parts count, significantly improving reliability and reducing costs.
  • Ultra-high peak system efficiency at >60%, enabling improved fuel consumption and efficient heat rejection.
  • Wide operating temperature range, up to 95°C.
  • Integrated power controller incorporating DC/DC converter, air compressor inverter, and a power distribution unit, along with proprietary software controls, enabling improved engine operation and efficiency.
  • Rapid up and down transient times, with an innovative hot stand-by mode enabling rapid power increase.
  • Improved manufacturability with >50% assembly time reduction.
  • Easier access to parts for faster and lower-cost field maintenance.
  • Compliance with applicable safety codes and standards.

Silvano Pozzi, Vice President of Product Line Management, noted that the power and performance requirements of the highly segmented truck market are particularly demanding due to various use cases, including high vehicle utilization rates and payload requirements. “One of the compelling features of the new FCmove®-XD is its scalability based on modularity, offering customers efficient integration of 120 kW, 240 kW, and 360 kW solutions depending on truck class, use case, and duty cycle.”

For example, two engines totaling 240 kW of power output can be easily installed in the engine compartment of a typical Class 8 heavy-duty truck, enhancing standardization and redundancy.

Gradu concluded, “In addition to our in-house FCmove®-XD innovations and design improvements over the past three years, we have enjoyed strong collaboration with our maturing supply chain on new balance of plant component designs and related non-recurring engineering, and we also made important investments in certain production tooling. Collectively, these integrated and parallel work streams have resulted in a category leader, boasting higher performance on all key metrics with significantly lower capital cost and operating costs for customers and end users. Initial pre-launch customer engagement has been very exciting.”

Ballard plans to initially manufacture the FCmove®-XD at its Oregon facility, enabling “Buy America” compliance starting in 2025, with future high-volume manufacturing expected at Ballard Rockwall Giga 1, Ballard’s recently announced 3 gigawatt Gigafactory planned to be built in Rockwall, Texas.

Learn more about the latest-gen FCmove®-XD fuel cell engine and discover the latest advancements in Ballard’s zero-emission fuel cell technology for heavy-duty commercial trucks.

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