Peugeot - Quark
Research into the fuel cell continues at a brisk pace. After the Peugeot Fuel Cell Taxi and the H2O, new developments have lead to the miniaturisation and simplification of this technology, while still providing a practical range.
To mark these developments, Peugeot has chosen to create an original concept vehicle to demonstrate this new technology: the Quark.
The Quark is a two-seater, four-wheel drive vehicle that uses the integral working parts to also provide the visual appeal of the vehicle. Each component is stylized to highlight its specific function.
The same applies to all parts in contact with the occupants, for example the passenger grab handles, the footboards and the body, which becomes almost an extension of the driver. The Quark chassis is the result of cooperation between stylists and engineers, which, ensures a perfect blend of aesthetic and technical prowess.
Although there is minimal bodywork, the body reveals at a glance that the Quark is a Peugeot vehicle. From the design of the dual LED headlamps and its Lion badge, to the assertive but welcoming front grille, the overall impression is that of a futuristic, but also a realistic vehicle.
As on the 307 CC, the rear lights are also equipped with light emitting diodes (LEDs).
The front bodywork serves as a windshield to protect the passengers, who also have dedicated storage spaces at their disposal.
At the front and at the rear, protective panels similar to the lower front panel supports the number plates, while at the rear, the hydrogen tank is painted red to symbolize its contents.
An electric motor drives each of the four wheels, themselves connected to the chassis by means of triangular wishbones. The 17'' diameter wheels create a real sense of latent power, and emphasize the rotation of the wheel. They are fitted with Michelin tyres with a purposely-round cross-section and an original; “shell-like” tread profile to assist in the removal of water.
The Quark combines pure materials such as aluminium and carbon fibre. The bucket seat has a non-slip covering to ensure good lateral support for passengers.
To use the Quark, the driver relies on a removable interactive interface, which serves the same purpose as an ignition key and is used in conjunction with an instrument panel.
Positioned in its housing, it provides information concerning the traction system and the fuel cell, vehicle speed, satellite navigation, etc… Protected by a small transparent and waterproof cover, it allows the vehicle to be started when in place and immobilizes it after removal by the driver, as in the case of an ignition key.
The Quark, is a symbol of freedom, it is a fun-loving and futuristic vehicle that is credible, too, on account of its technological content.
1. Operating principle of the fuel cell and strategy of PSA Peugeot Citroën
The advantages of the fuel cell are many. Firstly, this technology helps to reduce emissions of CO2 and therefore to combat the greenhouse effect. In addition, thanks to the noiseless operation of fuel cell vehicles and reduced local emissions, the fuel cell helps to improve the quality of life in cities.
How does a fuel cell work?
To operate, a fuel cell requires hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen is taken from the air, while hydrogen is stored on the vehicle in either a gaseous, liquid or chemical form. The combination of hydrogen and oxygen causes an electrochemical reaction that provokes the displacement of electrons, producing simultaneously water, heat, and above all electricity.
In the future, the fuel cell and hydrogen could represent an alternative energy source of genuine potential.
PSA Peugeot Citroën has embarked on a search for practical solutions and in recent years has exhibited several specific demonstrators: the Peugeot Fuel Cell Taxi and the Peugeot H2O.
Both of these vehicles operate in a range-extending mode, i.e. they are electric vehicles, which use fuel cell technology to supplement the electrical energy of the batteries.
The Peugeot Fuel Cell Taxi is a potential London taxi for the 21st century. In this vehicle, hydrogen is stored in the form of compressed gas (300 bars) in removable cylinders linked together. Refills (exchange of empty cylinders for full cylinders) can therefore be carried out quickly, making the car ideal for its intended use as an urban fleet vehicle.
The Peugeot H2O, is a halfway house between a functional vehicle and an engineer's dream, it is a fire-fighting vehicle designed for use in an urban setting. It aims to provide a solution to the problem of how to package compressed hydrogen by manufacturing hydrogen on the vehicle itself, on demand, using an aqueous solution of sodium borohydride.
2. Quark: continuing the pragmatic approach of the Group with an innovative traction system
Following on from the Peugeot Fuel Cell Taxi and Peugeot H2O vehicles, PSA Peugeot Citroën has created a new urban and inter-urban fuel-cell vehicle: the Quark.
In fact, it is in town that the main qualities of the fuel cell - noiseless operation and absence of pollution at the point of use - are most relevant.
In addition, when used in and around town, i.e. in driving conditions that involve frequent deceleration phases, it is possible to use the vehicle's electric traction motors for braking, thereby recovering energy expended during deceleration at no cost and reducing the vehicle's overall fuel consumption.
The Quark therefore illustrates perfectly the pragmatic approach of the Group in its search for the best traction system for optimum use.
Following on from its two predecessors, the Quark also operates in a range-extending mode. The fuel cell supplements electrical energy supplied by a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery consisting of 40 individual cells, each with a voltage of 7.2 volts.
The battery can therefore provide a nominal overall voltage of 288 Volts.
In parallel, PSA Peugeot Citroën have also developed new solutions to simplify the fuel cell and reduce its size to help integration into more compact vehicles.
Firstly, the fuel cell of the Quark is no longer water-cooled, but air-cooled. This avoids the need for a bulky water-cooling system and frees up space accordingly for other equipment or for a more compact traction system.
Also, the absence of a water-cooling system removes one of the major constraints of the fuel cell: the incompatibility between pure water/negative ambient temperatures.
Today, when it freezes, water causes irreversible damage to the cell, since an anti-freeze suitable for a fuel cell has yet to be developed.
It is therefore possible to park the « Quark » outside regardless of weather conditions, a key point in favour of the use of such a vehicle.
The Quark uses a 9-litre hydrogen tank at a pressure of 700 bars. Requiring the same amount of space as a 350 bars bottle, this makes it possible to increase the quantity of on-board hydrogen and thereby extend the vehicle's range. Over a complete cycle, the latter is around 100 km (up to 130 km in economy mode).
In addition, like the Fuel Cell Taxi, the Quark has a simple and rapid method of refilling the vehicle with hydrogen, with a « plug & drive » system that makes it easy to replace an empty bottle with a full one.
The Quark power train is nothing if not innovative. Electrical power supplied by the batteries and the fuel cell is transmitted, not to a central motor, but to four individual electric motors located in each of the vehicle's wheels.
Each motor provides a maximum torque of 100 Nm, a continuous output of 2.5 kW and a maximum output of 7 kW. Thanks to its four individual motors, the Quark therefore has a maximum torque of 400 Nm, a nominal power of 10 kW and a maximum power of 28 kW.
The motors use permanent magnet technology.
Electrical current from the batteries is controlled by a converter, which supplies the stator windings and generates a rotating magnetic field. This rotating field drives permanent magnets attached to the rotor, itself connected directly to the hub of the wheel, which therefore follows the rotational movement of the motor's magnetic field.
This technology offers advantages in terms of the weight and space of the motors, as well as their power efficiency.
The motor housing (stator) serves as a pivot.
Due to the fitment of four individual motors, the vehicle has permanent four-wheel drive. An electronic control module controls the motors independently. It supplies torque in accordance with the demands requested by the driver (controlled current). This module, combined with all four individual motors, serves the purpose of the differentials on a traditional vehicle. In addition to regenerative braking, the system can accommodate advanced functions (not implemented on the demonstrator) such as ABS, ESP, cornering assistance (at very slow speed) to reduce the turning circle radius by provoking wheel slip.
The braking system combines regenerative electric braking and hydraulically controlled mechanical braking acting on discs. The braking control regulates both braking modes so that electric braking takes priority over hydraulic braking (ensuring deceleration of around 0.3 g), which is beneficial to the energy balance.
3. Technical specifications
Overall length: 2.380 m
Overall width: 1.500 m
Height: 1.106 m
Wheelbase: 1.730 m
Front and rear tracks: 1.150 m
Kerb weight: 425 kg
Payload: 140 kg
1 motor in each wheel
Max. torque: 4 x 100 Nm
Power rating: 4 x 2.5 kW
Theoretical max. power: 4 x 7 kW
Regenerative braking: 3m/s2
Number of cells: 40
Unit voltage: 7.2 V
Capacity: 6.5 Ah
Overall rated voltage: 288 V
Overall rated output: 1.88 kWh
Power rating: 1.5 kW
1 "plug & drive" tank: 9 litres
Pressure: 700 bars
On-board weight of H2: 360 g
- Cast aluminium structure
- Front and rear double wishbone suspension
- Electric braking up to 0.3g
Hydraulically controlled disc braking thereafter
- Handlebar steering incorporating the driving controls
Removable interactive interface or Man-Machine interface
PDA display of functions:
- Starter/Theft protection
- Bluetooth phone
- MP3 Player
- Personal organizer
Maximum speed: 110 km/h
0-50 km/h: 6.5 s
Around 100 km (up to 130 km in ecology mode)