The potential for hydrogen-fueled engines as an alternative clean technology where batteries are not suitable is gaining momentum with vehicle manufacturers across mainland Europe and the UK. Unlike current fossil fuels, hydrogen combustion does not generate any tailpipe CO2 , while offering a potentially rapid route to implementation as much existing hardware can be utilized.
At present, facilities to test and develop engines using hydrogen are extremely rare, even in mainland Europe. For this reason, UK-based engine and drivetrain specialist Ricardo has developed a plan to modify one of its existing conventional engine test cells at its Shoreham Technical Centre, in West Sussex, to become a hydrogen engine development facility.
To enable the development of this planned new facility, the company applied for funding from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership’s allocation granted from the UK government’s overarching Getting Building Fund, which is aimed at stimulating jobs and economic recovery across the UK by supporting local ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects.
Ricardo says it has been notified of the provisional award of funding, with the final decision awaiting formal ratification by the government later in 2020. It adds that the funding award will facilitate the installation of the necessary hydrogen generation, storage and transmission infrastructure designed to supply pressurized gas to the enhanced engine development test facility.