Westport and Ford to Collaborate on Hydrogen Direct-Injection Technology
01 February 2006
|Westport H2ICE Fuel Injector|
Westport Innovations and Ford Motor Company will collaborate on developing and demonstrating an advanced hydrogen direct-injection fuel system for vehicles based on Westport’s hydrogen direct-injection (H2DI) technology.
The development of a practical fuel injection system for hydrogen is a key objective to Ford’s strategy in making low cost hydrogen internal combustion engine technology commercially available to the market within the next few years.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will also be teaming with Westport and Ford on the further development of the technology.
The two-year development program will be divided into two phases. Phase one will define advanced fuel system requirements including the design of fuel injectors. Phase two will incorporate the design and manufacture of new prototype fuel systems. The Government of Canada has contributed $250,000 during phase one. (Westport Innovations is based in Vancouver, Canada.)
Both governments are viewing hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines as a way to enable the deployment of functional hydrogen-powered vehicles, especially work vehicles, which consume large quantities of fuel.
The project is designed to allow users and technology providers to gain experience with hydrogen infrastructure while operating larger numbers of low-cost early production vehicles.
Westport’s H2DI technology has been in testing at Ford, and has shown the potential to provide high power and engine torque with diesel-like efficiency and very low emissions.
The new collaboration builds on several years of work between Ford Research and Westport starting in 1999 with natural gas engines. Ford began investigating the benefits of hydrogen direct-injection for reciprocating engines with Westport in 2003.
The development work for the next generation hydrogen engine program will take place in Westport’s technology centre in Vancouver, Ford’s test facilities in Dearborn, Michigan and the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington.
I'm assuming this is for a hydrogen internal combustion engine. If so, isn't fuel cell technology much more efficient and the reason why so much more money is being invested into it?
Posted by: cs1992 | 02 February 2006 at 02:34 AM
2-3 times more efficient....
I have not seen a proposal for a hydrogen ICE with a range of anything beyond 150 miles. You just can't store enough on today's cars without getting rid of the back seat and adding a lot more weight.
Does anyone know if the HCCI technology that Honda is developing can be applied to hydrogen? That's the only way I could see this coming close to the range needed. However, as that technology seems just as far off as commercial fuel cell production, it doesn't appear to make a lot of sense right now.
Perhaps the plan is to supplement the hydrogen ICE with a hybrid powertrain - maybe even a PHEV? If so, just seems like a lot of equipment to carry around somewhere in the average car.
Posted by: Angelo | 02 February 2006 at 03:19 AM
Hydrogen Forecast: The hydrogen economy's leading news source
"ECD-Ovonics Tests Solid Storage in Prius Hybrid
by Dean Stanley
Rochester Hills, MICH. -- Driving the ECD-Ovonics' hydrogen-fueled Toyota Prius hybrid, one thing becomes quite obvious: there is virtually no performance difference from the gasoline version, and that's exactly what ECD-Ovonics is shooting for.
Less obvious is the company's solid hydrogen storage system, which currently yields a nearly 200-mile driving range while taking up no more space than the original Prius gasoline tank. Of course, 200 miles is a far cry from the Prius' 600-plus range, but it's a start."
Posted by: dwenergyman | 02 February 2006 at 03:44 AM
The combination of hydrogen and liquid fuels has been proven to be better than gasoline or ethanol on it's own. You get more complete burn and you can raise the CR way up, better emissions too. This in combination with E85 or other blend plus hybrid could yield both better mpg, lower emissions and the range that you need.
Posted by: Fred | 02 February 2006 at 04:32 AM
You can also see from the tri-fuel Ford Super Chief that the hydrogen is about 50% more efficient in an internal combustion engine than ethanol.
Others such as Virent Technologies have developed efficient hydrogen reformers that can catalytically reform ethanol into hydrogen using the waste heat from the engine itself.
They have a reformer about the size of a Rubiks cube.
The technology exists for hydrogen ICE...which is why it's be rolled out in limited capacity already...it's just a matter of the government authorizing hydrogen as a transport fuel.
Every current hydrogen vehicle on the road is only authorized via special exception based paperwork.
Posted by: Ted | 02 February 2006 at 08:08 AM
Best yet if you look at the Toyota Prius converted to run on hydrogen...you can see from the article that it has a range of 80 miles on 1.6 kg of hydrogen.
Honda has developed a new tank adsorbant that allows them to store about 5kg of hydrogen in roughly the same space. That would give this Prius an effective range of 250 miles. That's less than the 350 miles that Honda gets out of their next generation fuel cell FCX Concept...but enough certainly that it is enough that it could be sold today. You can read about Honda's plans to build their next generation FCX in production form by 2009-2010 here:
Hydrogen technology could definitely be sold today and be economical if their was only committment by government to authorize its use. Bush wants to spend billions on research, when all that is really needed is to pull the trigger and authorize hydrogen as a legal transport fuel.
Posted by: TheRealDeal | 02 February 2006 at 08:35 AM
It would seem that H2DI would be of benefit to greater use of flex cars, and hopefully, plug-in, FFVs.
Posted by: jcwinnie | 02 February 2006 at 10:06 AM
Where is this 50% more efficient number coming from, regarding the Ford Tri-fuel truck? I don't see it on what was posted on this site. It's certainly not 50% more efficient at turning chemical energy into mechanical energy. What I saw quoted was a 12% fuel economy improvement on an energy equivilant basis. However, supercharging was required to keep the power comperable, and it was still less.
It seems like that is comparing apples and oranges. To achieve the same 280HP running on hydrogen, supercharging could easily be applied to a much smaller gas or E85 engine, which would result in much better fuel economy for those fuels.
Why would we push hydrogen ICEs when we don't have a clean source of hydrogen? Sure, if we started building a plethora of sugars-to-hydrogen reforming plants, that would be a different case. But we all know it will take years for that or any other truly clean hydrogen technology to become mainstream.
Posted by: Angelo | 02 February 2006 at 11:34 AM
A chicken and egg senarior. Clean Hydrogen source or clean hydrogen car first? No matter which first something must be done.
Posted by: rexis | 02 February 2006 at 04:45 PM
Advances in ultracapacitors and lithium batteries are likely to make hydrogen a moot point within the next few years.
Posted by: tom deplume | 03 February 2006 at 06:20 AM
People who question ICE's on H2 vs FC powered vehicles should better think about how would a FC-powered 500 HP truck look like (i.e how big) and how would one convince a farmer from Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc. to buy one, unless he keeps it inside his house all night so he can start the engine in the morning in subfreezing temperatures.
Secondly, look at BMW and their smart way of making the 750h a reality with a LH2 superinsulated tank. As I have been in one of those beautiful machines, I can tell you that it switches from gas to H2 at 100 mph without you feeling it. I wonder how that's going to work for a FC powered BMW. Oh, but I misspoke - BMW 750h DOES use a FC, it's for electric power needed on board. Propulsion and power are 2 different animals in this case, and BMW's theory is that ICE and FC are appropriate for the propulsion and for power generation onboard (electricity) respectively, not the other way around.
Posted by: Andrei | 04 February 2006 at 03:45 PM
The Ford Super Chief Tri-Flex V10 Triton...gets 8.6 mpg on E85 and it gets 13.6 mpg on hydrogen. That comes to 58.14% better performance.
So the reality is...same vehicle, same weight, same size, same engine, same rubber on the road...58.14% better mileage running on hydrogen.
Posted by: AngeloCheckThis | 05 February 2006 at 03:05 PM
The cold weather start issues previously associated with PEM fuel cells have been solved by Honda in the FCX Concept and by Mercedes in the F600 Hygenius.
Hydrogen ICE and hydrogen fuel cells can both play nicely together. There is no reason for anyone to have to choose. Both can be available as option for the consumer.
One of the advanatages of fuel cells is the flexability in packaging. This is seen in the skate board design that was first developed by GM, but now pretty much replicated by Honda in the FCX concept.
New vehicle layouts with lower center's of gravity will offer better handling and more spacious interiors. Fuel cells vehicles also have about 1/10 the number of moving parts as internal combustion vehicles...so ultimately this may result in more reliable vehicles.
In any event...let's get on to hydrogen...and let the consumer pick their poison for how they'd like to consumer it.
Posted by: AndreiGetReal | 05 February 2006 at 03:11 PM
There is also another consideration. Fuel cell cars make no noise. Combustion can be very silent, but not completely. Other considerations are weight distribution of fuel cell tank and batts, which can be virtually anywhere in the car. The ICE needs its own therally insulated chamber. So regardless of the efficiency argument (i'm sure both type will roughly be equal in mpg in 5 yrs if both technologies are pursued)
Any ICE with full or partial hydrogen to me seems like lead replacement fuel. It serves its purpose, but ultimately if the means for hydrogen production become green enough people will begin to drop hydrogen/hydrogen additive ICE very quickly in favour of fuelcell (if by that time both types of production vehicles cost roughly the same)
Biodiesel obviously still has its place. :)
My 2 cents
Posted by: Adrian | 05 February 2006 at 08:17 PM
Hi do you know about NanoLogix Achieves Initial Sales of Hydrogen Powered Generators
Feb 9, 2007 09:33:18 (ET)
SHARON, PA, Feb 09, 2007 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- NanoLogix, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: NNLX), an industry innovator in the research, development and commercialization of nano-biotechnologies, applications and processes, announced today the initial sale of hydrogen powered generator engines, which had been converted from gas engines. This was done in conjunction with Precision Performance Co. of Brookfield, Ohio, a private company.
what do you think of these guy's tech??daniel
Posted by: daniel | 27 March 2007 at 08:09 AM