Hy­dro­gen cell helps power car to 220kph

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - FEATURE -

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.”

demm.co.nz/read­eren­quiry #M140520

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