Partnership to develop hydrogen ICE for heavy goods applications

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Tupy (a specialist in casting and machining of highly engineered structural components), Westport Fuel Systems (a developer of alternative-fuel, low-emission transportation technologies) and test and development company AVL are to collaborate on the development of a highly efficient hydrogen (H2) internal combustion engine (ICE) for heavy goods transportation. The direct collaboration aims to combine advanced material and casting technologies with the latest H2  ICE technology using high-pressure direct injection (HPDI).

Powertrain efficiency will be key for the widespread adoption of hydrogen engine technology. To increase the efficiency and therefore improve the fuel consumption of current spark-ignited hydrogen ICEs, Tupy, Westport and AVL say they will pool their resources for the development of the HPDI H2-ICE.

To deal with high peak firing pressures, superior materials, casting and machining technologies are required, hence the involvement of Tupy. AVL has already successfully completed the development of a hydrogen engine in collaboration with the Austrian Graz University of Technology earlier this year, while Westport has also previously demonstrated successful startup and trials of heavy-duty ICEs running on H2 using HPDI. The first testbed results of this new joint-development program are expected by early 2022.

“Our experts are very actively working on CO2-neutral solutions that can enter the market by 2025 – among them is the hydrogen ICE. The fast introduction of this technology will help accelerate the build-up of hydrogen fueling infrastructure. With our expertise in the latest ICE technology, Tupy’s material and casting know-how and Westport’s superior gaseous fuel system technologies, we expect to achieve outstanding levels of power density and efficiency with competitive total cost of ownership,” remarked Rolf Dreisbach, EVP truck and bus at AVL.  

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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