TodayApril 17, 2022

Hydrogen Model Car

Munich hydrogen

Project group at Ingolstadt UAS works with BMW engineers to build model vehicles – including the powerful hydrogen internal combustion engine. The hydrogen internal combustion engine is not only suitable for cars the size of the BMW 7 Series – it is efficient on a small scale, too. Proof of this has been provided by a project group at the Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences. A remote-controlled model of the record-breaking BMW H2R – 70 centimeters (27.6 inches) long, 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) wide – designed by undergraduates and doctoral students can reach a top speed of 80 km/h (49.7 mph). Last year, with the full-size BMW H2R, BMW achieved nine international records recognized by the FIA. The hydrogen-powered racing vehicle achieved a maximum speed of over 300 km/h (186 mph).

“Our model shows that hydrogen drive also works on a small scale”, says Professor Jörg Wellnitz who led the project in his department. Wellnitz continues: “The project aims to make students more familiar with hydrogen technology. The hydrogen internal combustion engine will also play a dominant role in the future. The over 1500 working hours invested in the project show that the participants really enjoyed themselves and were totally committed.”

Four undergraduates and two doctoral students at the UAS designed the chassis in the summer semester of 2004. The plans for the engine, hydrogen tank, and all remaining parts were designed using simulation software and then implemented by the students. The finished model, ready for driving, needed only a suitable body. The record-breaking BMW H2R vehicle was ideal for this. With the support of BMW, the appropriate outer skin was produced on the basis of the original plans for the full-scale BMW H2R using the Rapid Prototyping process. Assembled, the chassis with hydrogen engine and H2R outer skin are an accurate imitation of the BMW record-breaker. Both vehicles – the original and the model – are totally unique. The model was successfully realized together with the model maker Graupner.

Important facts about the model:

The model of the record-breaking hydrogen car is built to a scale of 1:8; it is 70 centimeters (27.6 inches) long, 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) wide and 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) high. The chassis was produced using aluminum and carbon fiber. Excellent propulsion is provided by the 2.2 HP, supercharged, water-cooled four-stroke engine with a capacity of 11.5 cc. There are two storage variants available for the hydrogen fuel supply: two high-pressure tanks store the equivalent of 60 liters of hydrogen under standard conditions. Alternatively, two metal hydride containers can be installed in the H2R model, containing the equivalent of 300 standard liters of fuel. This is sufficient to operate the vehicle for approx. 25 minutes.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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