The American powertrain manufacturer Cummins has begun testing its hydrogen internal combustion engine. The engine is built on the basis of existing engines running on refined products.
Cummins recognizes the high potential of hydrogen engines in reducing emissions while maintaining performance that meets the needs of a wide range of customers. The hydrogen ICE prototype leverages the company’s latest know-how to improve power density, reduce friction and improve thermal efficiency, thereby avoiding the typical constraints associated with converting diesel or gasoline engines to hydrogen fuel, said Srikanth Padmanabhan, President of Cummins Engines .
In addition to benefits for the environment, Cummins sees in hydrogen ICEs “the advantage of adaptability”, that is, the ability to operate equipment with similar units in almost the same way as if they were gasoline or diesel engines. It can use the clean hydrogen fuel produced by Cummins electrolysers, with almost zero CO2 emissions through the tailpipe and minimal NOx emissions.
“The projected investments in renewable hydrogen production worldwide will provide a growing opportunity to deploy a fleet of hydrogen vehicles using either Cummins fuel cells or engine power,” the company said in a statement.
Following validation tests, Cummins intends to evaluate its hydrogen engine for a variety of highway and off-road applications. These powertrains are expected to be used in a wide variety of vehicles, including trucks and buses.
Let us add that the prototype of a hydrogen internal combustion engine is also being tested by Toyota Motor today. The Corolla hatchback was the first piston-powered hydrogen car to successfully complete the 24-hour endurance race. Although he had to refuel much more often than other competitors.