Ford first to begin production of hydrogen internal combustion engine

Today Ford began production of a dedicated hydrogen internal combustion engine at its Engine Manufacturing Development Operations in Dearborn Heights, MI, which makes it the first automaker to do so. The engine is a supercharged 6.8-liter V10 that will be used in the E-450 hydrogen-fueled shuttle bus. Ford will be delivering the vehicle to customers in Florida first, although didn't say how or where said customers would refuel their shuttle bus when necessary.
The V10 engine delivers 235 horsepower and 310 ft-lbs of torque while producing near zero emissions of regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases. That's not a lot of power, but not a lot of pollutants, either. While based on the same V10 that Ford uses in many of its truck and commercial vehicle applications, this unit has many specialized components that optimize it for use with hydrogen as a fuel (see list after the jump).

Over the years Ford produced a large number of hydrogen-powered concept and experimental vehicles, including a fleet of 30 hydrogen-powered Focus fuel cell vehicles, the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE, and most recently the Super Chief Concept that debuted at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, which was capable of running on hydrogen, E85 or gasoline.

(Follow the jump for the engine's full specifications and a list of its specialized components)

[Source: Ford]

Technical Specifications
  • Type - 6.8L SOHC V-10
  • Manufacturing Location - Engine Manufacturing Development Operations, Beech Daly Technical Center, Dearborn Heights, Mich.
  • Configuration - 90-degree V-10, cast iron block and aluminum heads with hardened seats
  • Intake Manifold - Aluminum
  • Supercharger - 3.3L/rev, twin screw compressor
  • Exhaust Manifold - Cast stainless steel
  • Crankshaft - Forged steel
  • Redline - 5,000 rpm
  • Throttle Body - Twin 60 mm, electronic
  • Valvetrain - Hydraulic lash adjusters with roller followers, 2 valves per cylinder
  • Valve Diameter - Intake: 42.5 mm Exhaust: 34.0 mm
  • Pistons - High temperature forged aluminum alloy with low-friction coated skirts, ultra low oil consumption piston rings
  • Connecting Rods - Forged steel
  • Ignition - Coil-on Plug coils, 9.5 AMP, Iridium tipped spark plugs
  • Bore x Stroke - 3.55 x 4.16 in / 90.2 x 105.8 mm
  • Displacement - 415 cu in / 6,751 cc
  • Compression Ratio - 9.4:1
  • Horsepower - 235 @ 4000 rpm
  • Horsepower per Liter - 34.5
  • Peak Boost - 18-20 psi
  • Torque - 310 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
  • Recommended Fuel - Hydrogen
  • Fuel Injection - Sequential multiport fuel injection
  • Oil Capacity - 6 quarts, with filter
  • Recommended Oil - Castrol Synthetic, 5W-20

Specialized components in the engine include:
  • Valves and valve seats – special hardened materials are used to compensate for hydrogen's reduced lubricating properties compared to gasoline or natural gas
  • Spark plugs – Iridium tipped plugs allow for increased spark plug life
  • Ignition coils – high energy coil-on-plug coils, to manage unique ignition characteristics
  • Fuel injectors and fuel rail – Fuel injectors designed specifically for hydrogen and high volume fuel rails
  • Crank damper – tuned for hydrogen fuel to ensure smooth operation
  • Pistons, connecting rods and piston rings – high output designs to accommodate the higher combustion pressure of hydrogen combustion
  • Head gasket – accommodates increased combustion chamber pressures
  • Intake manifold – all-new to accommodate twin screw supercharger and water-to-air intercooler
  • Twin screw supercharger and water-to-air intercooler – added to improve power output and maximize efficiency
  • Engine oil – full-synthetic formulation developed in partnership with BP/Castrol optimized for hydrogen combustion properties

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