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Economic Times. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has signed an agreement with automaker Tata Motors to develop hydrogen fuel cells for cars. A road-ready prototype is due in 2008.

An agreement for the pilot project to see whether hydrogen can be used to fuel automobiles has been signed and the work started, said G Madhavan Nair, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization that builds satellites as also their launch vehicles.

“We are working with Tatas to see how best proto model can be put on road by next year. Hydrogen-powered and the storage and handling etc, we will take care from whatever we know and the Tatas are good at making best cars”, he said responding to questions from media on the sidelines of a conference here today.

...But he acknowledged that the major hurdle is the fuel cell technology “where we have not matured yet, we are trying to get some modules from outside.”

As petrol engines cannot avoid pollution, “Hydrogen is a good solution for that. It’s going to be a future fuel for almost all the systems. So, that way, we are trying to see how best... rocket technology can be spun off”, Nair added.

Last week, ISRO announced the successful completion of the final test of its cryogenic upper stage (CUS) to be used as the upper stage of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). The indigenous CUS is powered by a regeneratively cooled cryogenic engine, which works on staged combustion cycle developing a thrust of 69.5 kN in vacuum.

Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) from the respective tanks are fed by individual booster pumps to the main turbo-pump, which rotates at 39,000 rpm to ensure a high flow rate of 16.5 kg/sec of propellants into the combustion chamber. The main turbine is driven by the hot gas produced in a pre-burner. Thrust control and mixture ratio control are achieved by two independent regulators. LOX and Gaseous Hydrogen (GH2) are ignited by pyrogen type igniters in the pre-burner as well as in the main and steering engines.

The other stage systems include insulated propellant tanks, booster pumps, inter-stage structures, fill and drain systems, pressurization systems, gas bottles, command block, igniters, pyro valves and cold gas orientation and stabilization system.


Kishore Kumar

ISRO has always been a great organisation bringing the benefit of world class technology to the common man.There are many other government funded organisations in India ,only a very few can claim to have provided so much for the common man.

This technology should not limit itself to 10- 20 lakhs rupees worth car,I wish to see Indian roads with Fuel cell powered auto rikshaws,Taxies,Buses,trucks.
I'm very confident that TATA can make it happen .

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