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TUPY, Westport Fuel Systems and AVL to develop highly-efficient hydrogen ICE with H2-HPDI for heavy-duty trucks

Brazil-based TUPY, a specialist of casting and machining of highly engineered structural components; Westport Fuel Systems; AVL List GmbH are collaborating to develop a highly efficient hydrogen (H2) internal combustion engine (ICE) for heavy goods transportation. The direct collaboration aims at combining advanced material and casting technologies with the latest H2-ICE technology using Westport’s high pressure direct injection (HPDI).

Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier for carbon neutral heavy-duty transportation applications, as it has the potential for fast refueling and can be used to power fuel cells or ICEs. Unlike fuel cell technology, hydrogen ICEs enable carbon neutral transportation utilizing existing base engine technology. Powertrain efficiency will be a key success factor to ensure affordable hydrogen truck and bus solutions.

In February, Westport Fuel Systems and AVL released a report finding that the combined high efficiency and lower system costs relative to FCEVs make H2-HPDI the most capital efficient means to use hydrogen and lower CO2 emissions near-term and that it has the potential to remain competitive with fully industrialized FCEV in the future. (Earlier post.)

In order to increase efficiency and therefore improve fuel consumption of current spark ignited hydrogen ICEs, TUPY, Westport and AVL will jointly work on the development of an HPDI H2-ICE.

To deal with high peak firing pressures, superior materials, casting and machining technologies are required. AVL successfully completed the development of the AVL Hydrogen Engine in collaboration with Graz University of Technology earlier this year, while Westport has also previously demonstrated successful startup and trials of heavy-duty ICEs running on H2 using HPDI (earlier post).

AVL used a 12.8-liter natural gas engine for the basis of development and set its performance target at 350 kW.

First testbed results of this new joint development program with AVL, TUPY and Westport are expected by early 2022.

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