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Cummins begins testing of hydrogen fuelled IC engine

CUMMINS Inc. has begun testing a hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine. 

“The potential of the hydrogen engine is to reduce emissions and provide power and performance for customers,” said Srikanth Padmanabhan, President of the Engine Segment. “We are using all new engine platforms equipped with the latest technologies to improve power density, reduce friction and improve thermal efficiency, allowing us to avoid the typical performance limitations and efficiency compromises associated with converting diesel or natural gas engines over to hydrogen fuel. We have made significant technological advancements and will continue moving forward.” 

Following the proof-of-concept testing, the company plans to evaluate the engine in a variety of on- and off-highway applications, supporting the company’s efforts to accelerate the decarbonisation of commercial vehicles.

“The hydrogen engine programme can potentially expand the technology options available to achieve a more sustainable transport sector, complementing our capabilities in hydrogen fuel cell, battery electric and renewable natural gas powertrains,” said Jonathon White, Vice-President of Engine Business Engineering.

Hydrogen engines offer OEMs and end-users the benefit of adaptability by continuing to use familiar mechanical drivelines with vehicle and equipment integration mirroring that of current powertrains while continuing to provide the power and capability for meeting application needs.

The hydrogen engines can use green hydrogen fuel, produced by Cummins-manufactured electrolysers, emitting near zero CO2 emissions through the tailpipe and near zero levels of NOx. The projected investment in renewable hydrogen production globally will provide a growing opportunity for the deployment of hydrogen-powered fleets utilizing either Cummins fuel cell or engine power. 

Integrating hydrogen technology  

The high energy density of hydrogen enables easily integrated on-board gas storage without compromising either the vehicle payload or operating range. Cummins’ joint venture partnership with hydrogen storage specialist NPROXX allows the integration of the fuel cell or hydrogen engine with the high-pressure gas cylinder tanks and supply lines on the vehicle. NPROXX is also a leading supplier of containerized storage vessels, enabling fast hydrogen refuelling for end users. 

Cummins has more than 600 electrolyser installations across the globe. The modular scalability of its electrolysers makes it ideal for a range of applications, from the localized supply of truck and bus fleets to utility-scale electrolysis. 

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