Hartridge Ltd is one of a consortium of companies, including BorgWarner Fuel Systems in Gillingham UK, that have jointly secured £9.7 million of government-backed funding via the APC (Advanced Propulsion Centre, UK).
The APC has awarded grants for 7 projects overall, at a total value of £77 million, with each one focused on de-carbonising commercial and industrial vehicles to run at net zero CO2 emissions.
Hartridge is part of the £9.7m Cavendish project, which was awarded on a 50:50 basis to accelerate the progression of developing Hydrogen fuelled, direct-injection, internal combustion engines.
Hydrogen as a fuel produces zero CO2 with mainly water as a bi-product when burned. Project Cavendish will develop new fuel, air delivery and management systems so that heavy duty diesel engines can be converted to use hydrogen as fuel.
Hartridge will be primarily responsible for designing and producing the fuel system test equipment required to support manufacturing Hydrogen fuel injectors, as well as aftermarket test bench solutions for use in specialist workshops.
Clive Morse, (CEng, FIMechE), leading Project Cavendish at Hartridge explains;
“The primary focus on commercial vehicles is to meet the challenges of de-carbonising transport while avoiding the significant issues that electrification will raise.”
“For pure electric powertrains in commercial applications there are still significant challenges. There remains a major increase in overall unladen vehicle weight with much reduced payload and range compared to existing drivetrains. These reduce a vehicle's loading capacity compared to their diesel-powered counterparts and will increase the number of vehicles on the road. Then there are additional constraints of the speed/logistics for re-charging batteries and the variables involved that could cause delivery delays. These issues are not yet resolved.”
Dave Rhodes, Applications Engineer at Hartridge comments;
“We are at the start of an exciting new journey. Hydrogen combustion will be an essential technology to deliver targets on zero carbon transport and there are many technical challenges involved in delivering an effective solution to the market. Luckily, at Hartridge we can draw on the experience from developing OE test solutions for Diesel to create world leading test equipment for Hydrogen fuel systems”.