Hydrogen cell helps power car to 220kph
Fluid technology specialist Bürkert, which has offices in New Zealand, has provided a f luid control system for the fuel cell stack of a hydrogenelectric racing car Forze VI that can reach 100 km/h in just four seconds.
The racing team is run by students of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Their hydrogen electric car will attempt to break the record for fuel cell powered vehicles on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany, the car can reach over 210 km/h, and the only “emission” is water.
Apart from wanting to break records, the team's goal is to compete against petrol powered racing cars to demonstrate how fast ‘green' technology can be.
At the moment, there are plenty of choices when it comes to fuel; petrol, diesel, bio-fuels, natural gas, electricity and hydrogen.
Fossil fuels are getting scarce, expensive and pollute the atmosphere. New, more sustainable systems have been developed over the years, with the hydrogen fuel cell car being one of these. Forze is considering hydrogen as one of the future solutions to power vehicles and other applications.
The team has a rich heritage in fuel cell powered racecars. The first support from Bürkert was components – a proportional solenoid valve, a pressure sensor and a controller were installed in the Forze IV and it worked well.
But soon Forze was inspired by Bürkert to take the solution to another level. Johann Gunnesch, engineer at the Systemhaus of Bürkert Fluid Control Systems in Ingelfingen, develops highly specific system solutions for a wide range of applications. The student team presented its f low plan for the fuel cell and explained the basic technical requirements.
Talking of the low pressure block, Johann Gunnesch says: “Coming from the tank, the hydrogen first passes a shut-off valve. An integrated pressure relief valve has to release the hydrogen in the event of a malfunction.
“A Type 2875 solenoid control valve meters the hydrogen for the fuel cell by controlling the required pressure in the fuel cell. A Type 8701 f low meter measures the supplied quantity of hydrogen and sends this data to the vehicle's electronic control system.
“The pressure and temperature are likewise monitored constantly by sensors that send their readings to the controller to enable the fuel cell to operate under optimal conditions at all times. Furthermore, there is a Type 6011 bleed valve, which can evacuate the entire system in case the vehicle is not driven.”