Cummins begins testing of hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine

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Cummins has begun testing a hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine. The manufacturer said that its proof-of-concept testing will build on its existing gaseous-fuel technology to help create new power solutions which help customers meet their future energy and environmental needs.

“Cummins is thrilled about the potential of the hydrogen engine to reduce emissions and provide power and performance for customers,” said Srikanth Padmanabhan, President of Cummins’ engine division. “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. We are optimistic about bringing this solution to market.”

Following the proof-of-concept testing, the company said it plans to evaluate the engine in a variety of on and off-road applications, supporting its 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.

Cummins says that 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. Cummins said that its hydrogen engines use fuel produced by its own green electrolysers, emitting almost no CO₂ emissions through the tailpipe and near zero levels of NOx. The manufaturer believes that the projected investment in renewable hydrogen production globally will provide a growing opportunity for the deployment of hydrogen-powered fleets, using either fuel cell or engine power.

Cummins is investing in a range of technologies to support hydrogen-based transport, including hydrogen engines, fuel cells, electrolysers and storage tanks. It has also entered into a joint venture partnership with hydrogen storage specialist NPROXX, giving it the ability to integrate the fuel cell or hydrogen engine with the high-pressure gas cylinder tanks and supply lines on board.