Roush Technologies has been working on flexible fuel vehicles for the last few years. Unlike most manufacturers, which seem to be focusing on using either ethanol or gasoline in their flex-fuel vehicles, Roush Technologies has been integrating compressed hydrogen power into normal internal combustion engines. The latest example to come from the company is based on a Ford Transit van and is being shown at the Cenex-hosted UK National Low Carbon Vehicle event at Millbrook Proving Ground. The Transit features a 2.3-liter Ford engine that is capable of running on gasoline or hydrogen and features a supercharger and intercooler that help the vehicle make enough power when running on the compressed gas. That hydrogen is stored in a 5000psi tank, which holds enough of the gas to run the vehicle for up to 135 miles.

Roush Technologies has also been working with Britain's ITM Power on hydrogen refueling stations. The resulting filling units use electrolysis technology to generate hydrogen from water on-site. The two companies point out that the necessary infrastructures for water and electricity are already in place and the hydrogen generators can use any form of electricity - including renewables - to operate and that hydrogen emits zero carbon dioxide as it burns.

[Source: Roush Technologies]


Roush bi-fuel conversion brings hydrogen fuel to existing ICE technology

Roush Technologies shows its latest bi-fuel Internal Combustion Engine conversion (H2ICE) technology at the Cenex hosted UK National Low Carbon Vehicle event at Millbrook Proving Ground tomorrow (28th October 2008). Roush has modified the engine of a Ford Transit-based vehicle to operate using compressed hydrogen gas fuel – but it can also operate from its existing petrol fuelled system without any adverse effects.

The special demonstration vehicle is designed to show that hydrogen as a fuel – and the associated equipment – are practical and efficient in a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. The concept is expected to accelerate the availability of CO2-free, hydrogen-fuelled commercial vehicles operating in Britain.

The conversion features Ford's 2.3-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, to which Roush has added a belt-driven supercharger with intercooler. This provides additional combustion air under pressure when the fuel mode switch is selected to hydrogen only. The engine retains its conventional spark ignition system.

The hydrogen fuel is currently designed to be stored in three tanks, underslung below the vehicle floor. This installation provides a usable storage capacity for 4.5 kilograms of hydrogen at 350bar (5000psi) and gives an estimated range between 95 miles for the urban cycle and 135 miles for open highway running. Additional capacity can be added if required. Importantly, the location and configuration of the tanks allows the retention of the volume and load height of the base vehicle – with no intrusion or interference within the load space.

Roush Technologies recently established a collaboration agreement with ITM Power plc to provide the breakthrough refuelling solution by enabling vehicle operators to generate their own hydrogen fuel. Using a patented electrolyser, due to enter production at ITM's special facility in Sheffield later this year, it is possible to make hydrogen fuel wherever there is a source of electricity and water.

The advances in electrolysis technology that ITM has achieved elegantly address the hydrogen infrastructure issue by using the already developed electricity and water distribution network. The electrolyser can produce hydrogen from water and any source of electricity including off-peak or renewable energy – electricity generated by wind, wave or solar power. Unlike petrol or diesel, when hydrogen burns, it releases no CO2, merely water vapour.

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