Hydrogen research engine solution for zero-emission heavy duty vehicles

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As part of its mission to support the decarbonization of the global transport and energy sectors, Ricardo, an engineering and strategic consulting company, has created a hydrogen-fueled research engine that could offer a renewable, economic and durable technology solution to accelerate zero carbon emissions in heavy duty trucks, off-highway machines and marine vessels.

Ricardo will be testing the prototype at the state-of-the-art engine development facility at the University of Brighton – the company’s long-term combustion engine research partner.

Drawing on the company’s proven track record in engine development, and hydrogen technology integration, the test program will evaluate the performance, efficiency and emissions of the engine to assess its feasibility as a future multi-cylinder engine which could be taken into production for Ricardo’s global customers.

Adrian Greaney, Director of Technology and Digital at Ricardo Automotive and Industrial EMEA Division said “Green hydrogen has a critical role to play in our future energy and transport systems, particularly in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from hard to decarbonize sectors such as long-haul trucks, off-highway machines and marine. We are working with a range of clients on hydrogen and renewable fuels to reduce carbon emissions in these challenging sectors. This exciting project with the University of Brighton on hydrogen engine technology sits alongside our developments in hydrogen fuel cell systems to deliver cost effective, clean and efficient solutions for our global clients.”

Dr Penny Atkins, Deputy Director of the Advanced Engineering Centre at the University of Brighton said: “Hydrogen combustion engines could offer a vital medium term solution to support decarbonization in the heavy duty sector. The University of Brighton is really excited to be able to use its expertise in hydrogen combustion and engine test to support the development of this important technology.”

The ongoing program will use the real-world results from the hardware to validate methods applied in Ricardo’s leading-edge digital tools. Virtual hardware optimization and controls calibration will provide customer solutions that are more economic, efficient and sustainable.

The development of a hydrogen engine is a further boost to Ricardo’s hydrogen capability, following its recent investment in a hydrogen development and test facility at its Shoreham Technical Centre. As on-highway original equipment manufacturers face stringent European emissions regulations: a 30% improvement against 2019 CO2 fleet average by 2030, and an expectation that this target will be raised, Ricardo’s hydrogen engine technology can help this transport sector progress towards achieving zero carbon emissions.

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