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A New Generation of Hydrogen-Fueled Hybrid Propulsion Systems for the Urban Mobility of the Future


The H2-ICE project aims at developing, through numerical simulation, a new generation of hybrid powertrains featuring a hydrogen-fueled Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) suitable for 12 m urban buses in order to provide a reliable and cost-effective solution for the abatement of both CO2 and criteria pollutant emissions. The full exploitation of the potential of such a traction system requires a substantial enhancement of the state of the art since several issues have to be addressed. In particular, the choice of a more suitable fuel injection system and the control of the combustion process are extremely challenging. Firstly, a high-fidelity 3D-CFD model will be exploited to analyze the in-cylinder H2 fuel injection through supersonic flows. Then, after the optimization of the injection and combustion process, a 1D model of the whole engine system will be built and calibrated, allowing the identification of a “sweet spot” in the ultra-lean combustion region, characterized by extremely low NOx emissions and, at the same time, high combustion efficiencies. Moreover, to further enhance the engine efficiency well above 40%, different Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) systems will be carefully scrutinized, including both Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC)-based recovery units as well as electric turbo-compounding. A Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) aftertreatment system will be developed to further reduce NOx emissions to near-zero levels. Finally, a dedicated torque-based control strategy for the ICE coupled with the Energy Management Systems (EMSs) of the hybrid powertrain, both optimized by exploiting Vehicle-To-Everything (V2X) connection, allows targeting H2 consumption of 0.1 kg/km. Technologies developed in the H2-ICE project will enhance the know-how necessary to design and build engines and aftertreatment systems for the efficient exploitation of H2 as a fuel, as well as for their integration into hybrid powertrains.

Funding source: Research funded by Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR) (2020R92Y3Z).
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

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