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Cummins begin testing hydrogen-fuelled engine

Cummins

Company starts proof-of-concept testing on hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine

CUMMINS say they have taken another step forward in advancing zero-carbon technology as they begin testing a hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine.

The proof-of-concept test is building on the company’s existing expertise in gaseous-fuel applications and powertrains to create new power solutions that will help customers meet the energy and environmental needs of the future.

‘We are thrilled about the potential of the hydrogen engine to reduce emissions and provide power and performance for customers,’ said Srikanth Padmanabhan, president of Cummins’ engine segment.

‘We are using all-new engine platforms equipped with the latest technologies to improve power density, reduce friction and improve thermal efficiency, allowing us to avoid the typical performance limitations and efficiency compromises associated with converting diesel or natural gas engines over to hydrogen fuel.

‘We have made significant technological advancements and will continue moving forward. We are optimistic about bringing this solution to market.’

Following the proof-of-concept testing, the company plans to evaluate the engine in a variety of on- and off-highway applications, supporting the company’s efforts to accelerate the decarbonization of commercial vehicles.

‘The hydrogen engine programme can potentially expand the technology options available to achieve a more sustainable transport sector, complementing our capabilities in hydrogen fuel-cell, battery electric and renewable natural gas powertrains,’ said Jonathon White, vice-president of engine business engineering.

Hydrogen engines offer OEMs and end-users the benefit of adaptability by continuing to use familiar mechanical drivelines with vehicle and equipment integration mirroring that of current powertrains while continuing to provide the power and capability for meeting application needs. The engines can use green hydrogen fuel, emitting near-zero CO2 emissions through the tailpipe and near-zero levels of NOx.

Projected investment in renewable hydrogen production globally will provide a growing opportunity for the deployment of hydrogen-powered fleets utilizing either fuel-cells or engine power. Cummins themselves are investing across a range of technologies to support hydrogen-based transportation, including hydrogen engines, fuel-cells, electrolyzers and storage tanks.

The high energy density of hydrogen allows for easy integration of on-board gas storage without compromising either the vehicle payload or operating range, and Cummins’ joint-venture partnership with hydrogen storage specialists NPROXX adds the ability to integrate the fuel-cell or hydrogen engine with the high-pressure gas cylinder tanks and supply lines on the vehicle, allowing fast hydrogen refuelling for end users.

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