Cummins Inc. says it has begun testing a hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine: a proof-of-concept test that builds on the company’s existing gaseous-fuel and powertrain technologies.
Following the proof-of-concept testing, the company plans to evaluate the engine in a variety of on- and off-highway applications.
“Cummins is thrilled about the potential of the hydrogen engine to reduce emissions and provide power and performance for customers,” says Srikanth Padmanabhan, president of the company’s engine segment. “We are using all new engine platforms equipped with the latest technologies to improve power density, reduce friction and improve thermal efficiency, allowing us to avoid the typical performance limitations and efficiency compromises associated with converting diesel or natural gas engines over to hydrogen fuel.”
Hydrogen engines offer OEMs and end-users the benefit of adaptability by continuing to use familiar mechanical drivelines with vehicle and equipment integration mirroring that of current powertrains while continuing to provide the power and capability for meeting application needs.
These engines can use green hydrogen fuel, produced by Cummins-manufactured electrolyzers, emitting near zero CO2 emissions through the tailpipe and near zero levels of NOx. The projected investment in renewable hydrogen production globally will provide a growing opportunity for the deployment of hydrogen-powered fleets utilizing either Cummins fuel cell or engine power.
The high energy density of hydrogen enables easily integrated on-board gas storage without compromising either the vehicle payload or operating range. Cummins’ joint venture partnership with hydrogen storage specialist NPROXX adds the ability to integrate the fuel cell or hydrogen engine with the high-pressure gas cylinder tanks and supply lines on the vehicle. NPROXX is also a supplier of containerized storage vessels, enabling fast hydrogen refueling for end users.