today, me and my friend of YSEP went to Nissan Factory near Yokohama
it’s a regular class named Study on Japanese Companies and Industries (like what had brought me to Atami)
some of the story I got was too fabulous to forget so I want to share here ^^
first thing is the “douki-seisan” principal of Nissan Company
this principal means that they will produce very exact car that customers want and deliver it at the promised time
they keep their principal by doing very neat and clean production system
I went in to the factory.. assembly factory
there, the cars are built..
there are one “main line” and several “sub line” that produces 60 cars every hour.. means one car in one minute.. *phew
and a single car is made for 60 hours total.. since the stamping the parts, painting, until final checking..
I saw that about 2,000 workers were doing the car production.. each of them has a job to assembly 5 to 10 kinds of parts for 2 minutes.. *phew again.. amazing..
one thing that makes me more amazed was the cars which were being produced in the lines are not only one kind of car.. but several kinds from simple SUV with gasoline to funky with battery cell attached as the energy source
they were being produced simultaneously in one big line by that workers..
the secret to make the production could be done fast was : the workers just have a job to assembly.. not choosing the right parts.. so every parts that designated to each car had been prepared and delivered by simple wheel-footed robots
and the production was like a flow of water.. very smooth.. simultaneously
second thing is the FCV.. Fuel Cell Vehicle
Nissan Company develop fuel cell technology to make “future car”.. the main advantage of this type of car is zero emission.. actually, it still has an emission.. but not a pollutant.. it is water
how can? if you had known about fuel cell technology, so you could pass these some explanation (by my way.. maybe not exactly true)
-the explanation of fuel cell begins here-
first, what is fuel cell?
in simple. fuel cell is an energy source that produce electricity (that’s why it was named ‘cell’ like a battery) with a continuously renewed “real energy source”.. which called “fuel”
why is it called fuel is (maybe) because the principal of this kind of “fuel” to produce energy is just the same as the “real fuel” that we know : combustion reaction (yeah.. not exactly the same.. but basically the overall reaction does the same)
this combustion reaction means reacting the fuel with oxygen (or another oxidizing agent) to produce energy and small waste of emission
in fact, the definition of fuel cell is not restricted to that hydrogen type.. there are more kinds of fuel cells
basically, the core principle of fuel cell is electron exchange between anode and cathode by means of electrolyte (a media that can be used by electron to be transfered.. could be solid, or liquid.. or gas.. even plasma).. that electron transfer produce electricity.. so there is energy
in common, the “fuel” that is used for fuel cell is hydrogen
so, as we know, the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen (combustion) produce energy and… H2O.. or we can say.. water.. with the reaction is as follow :
and the common draft-drawing of fuel cell design is :
there are several types of fuel cells.. I will introduce them shortly.. this post is not designated to academic purpose.. so.. I won’t be so harsh 😛
Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell
this kind of fuel cell utilize polymer membrane as the electrolyte.. basically, this polymer membrane separate the anode and cathode which contains both fuel and oxidizing agent
High Temperature Fuel Cells : Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)
actually, HTFC may refers to two kinds, one of them, and maybe the most popular, is SOFC.. this type of fuel cell uses solid material, usually ceramics called yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), as the electrolyte.. it is operated at high temperature (800-1000 degree C)..
High Temperature Fuel Cells : Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC)
this kind of FC utilizes LiKCO3 (lithium potassium carbonate) as the electrolyte which is liquified at high temperature (650 degree C), allowing the movement of the charge within the cell – in this case, negative carbonate ion
little bit different than two kinds before, the reaction of this FC is
-this is the end of fuel cell explanation-
I got a chance to ride one of the FCV there.. it was nice.. it used PEMFC with Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) technology, which makes the fuel cell thin and compact.. it was just like normal gasoline car.. it could reach 150 kmph but the machine’s sound was soooooo smooth.. and.. it doesn’t “smoke” but “spit out” water.. which is.. totally not a harm for environment
they said that that car could run for 500 km if the tank was fulled by 70 MPa of hydrogen
it’s nice.. and.. we can hope that it could be real “future car” with zero harmful emission.. but when it could possibly take the crown of gasoline fueled vehicles? dunno.. until today, the price of FCV is still too high to come to the market.. why?
one of the difficulty of developing this type of car is.. developing the hydrogen storage tank.. if we don’t count the bloody-work to develop thin and compact fuel cell :3
the storage tank must be safe enough (remember.. 70 MPa of hydrogen? it’s.. about 690 atm!!!) so that it won’t be broken, melted, leaked, even the inside pressure (by hydrogen) or outside pressure (by car crash maybe).. and big enough to carry sufficient hydrogen to operate the car.. the result is big strong tank that makes back seat become little bit higher than normal gasoline car.. but it’s okay
and secondly, the distribution of the hydrogen gas station.. but government of Japan said that there will be about 100 gas statiosn (currently 16) in 2015; then 1000 stations in 2020.. then 5000 stations in 2030..
let’s wait.. and maybe we could join them
to make zero emission vehicle
to make eco-friendly vehicle
to keep our children’s future saved from fossil fuel emission
ah.. if you want to know more about the company itself and some data of it, please see my friend’s post here – credit to my room-mate, Alfan Presekal-
that’s all… cheers ^^