This paper describes the study made by COPPE/UFRJ which goal is the development of fuel cells systems for automotive applications. The study is divided in two parts. The first is the development of a PEM direct fuel cell. In addition a method for experimentally determine the possibility of using a fuel in a fuel cell is developed. The components of catalysts are also tested such as Tin and Ruthenium in a Platinum coated electrode. The second part is the control system for a fuel cell powered vehicle. The vehicle power is modeled from its actions and losses. A power of 80kW seems to be a great choice if made of 50kW from the fuel cell system and 30kW from an accumulator such as a pack of batteries or a super capacitor.

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