MAHLE Powertrain is expanding its Northampton facility to include a dedicated hydrogen powertrain testing capability.

The company said that the capacity to hold two tube-trailers on-site with rapid switch-over functionality between them will ensure a near-continuous supply of hydrogen.

In addition, upgraded engine dynamometers with a 900kW, 4,000Nm nominal capacity mean the centre will be able to support the growing demand for hydrogen powertrain development as well as testing of both light and heavy-duty applications.

The facility is already being used in the development of hydrogen fuel cell systems, hydrogen combustion engines and testing of hydrogen fuelled vehicles.

It will also soon begin work on the development of an H2-ICE concept that converts existing heavy-duty diesel engines to hydrogen combustion – thereby negating the need for wholesale replacement and capitalising on existing infrastructure to accelerate the transition towards net-zero mobility.

The facility’s supply side meticulously follows the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) guidance on the storage and handling of hydrogen.

In addition, the individual test cells each feature a MAHLE Powertrain-designed system for the monitoring and safe handling of any potential gas escape.

The company also has knowledge and experience in the development of engines adapted to run on renewable alcohol fuels, such as methanol.

Simon Reader, Director – Global Engineering Services, MAHLE Powertrain said, “Off-highway, heavy-duty and marine sectors are increasingly looking to hydrogen combustion engines as a way of decarbonizing their emissions in areas where electrification isn’t suitable.

“This expansion is in response to strong demand from our customers for this type of work.

“It equips our test cells with a dedicated hydrogen supply to create a facility that can perform rigorous testing on even the most heavy-duty engines and their increased weight and torque characteristics.”


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