NAA Member News: ULEMCo to Demonstrate First Zero Emission Combustion Engine Truck, as well as delivering World’s First Hydrogen Dual Fuel Road Sweeper
A truck with a combustion engine powered entirely from zero carbon hydrogen fuel will take to the roads later this year. Developed by hydrogen fuel pioneer ULEMCo, the converted VOLVO FH16 vehicle will use what is believed to be the first ‘zero emission’ combustion engine anywhere in the world…
The 100% hydrogen combustion truck, with Mega Low Emissions (MLE), is designed to provide a dramatic demonstration of how hydrogen fuel can be deployed to decarbonise heavy goods vehicles efficiently and cost effectively.
Unlike other ‘hydrogen fuelled’ vehicles, the MLE truck uses hydrogen to power the vehicle using a combustion engine rather than via fuel cells and an electric motor. However, in common with fuel cell versions, there will be none of the usual emissions from hydrocarbons that impact on air quality – such as unburnt fuel, particulates, carbon monoxide etc., and the NOx levels will be immeasurably low. ULEMCo believes that using conventional engines and existing truck designs, rather than the full transformation needed for electrification, the time frame to the target of zero carbon emissions can be shortened significantly, at the same time dramatically reducing the cost of the change for customers.
By applying ULEMCo’s knowledge of the efficient combustion of hydrogen and the use of hydrogen fuel directly in combustion engines, a significant simplification of the vehicle emission control systems can be achieved. Using a modified conventional engine, the powertrain cost is minimised and the company is able to demonstrate that zero emissions can be achieved in commercial vehicles at an affordable cost.
ULEMCo has converted many vehicles from diesel to hydrogen dual-fuel, and these are in current active service around the UK. The demonstration vehicle will be the first all-hydrogen example, will have at least 300HP, and with 17kg of hydrogen on board, a range of just less than 300 km unloaded is expected. As hydrogen storage is the only additional hardware, a smaller reduction in payload is experienced than with other low emission approaches.
“We are hugely excited about the potential for hydrogen fuel as a route to faster achievement of zero carbon emission in commercial vehicles”, says Amanda Lyne, CEO of ULEMCo. “With this MLE demonstrator, co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, we are showing that 100% hydrogen fuel in combustion engines is a practical and cost effective option. It sits well alongside the hydrogen dual-fuel conversions that we have already implemented commercially.”
ULEMCo has also collaborated with Aberdeen City Council (ACC) to deliver the world’s first hydrogen dual fuel road sweeper. The vehicle will use hydrogen fuel for around a third of the energy used to drive and operate the vehicles, making valuable reductions in CO2 emissions.
The cleaner sweeper has been adapted by retrofitting a standard EURO 6 DAF truck to run on both diesel and hydrogen fuel. Emission savings of around 30% are projected from the refitting of ULEMCo technology onto the DAF truck, and the partners believe this makes it best in class for both CO2 and air quality emissions for this type of vehicle.
ACC will be able to refuel the sweepers at the state of the art Aberdeen City Hydrogen Energy Storage (ACHES) hydrogen station, which makes hydrogen from renewable electricity, on a daily basis. This is designed to ensure that use of dual fuel is maximised throughout the day.
“This latest initiative further demonstrates the potential for hydrogen dual fuel to make a significant impact on reducing diesel emissions from commercial vehicles”, said Amanda Lyne, CEO of ULEMCo. “We have demonstrated how ULEMCo technology can be applied to many different vehicles, with practical and measurable benefits.”
“The delivery of this vehicle is part of our Hydrogen Strategy to increase the deployment of hydrogen vehicles in Aberdeen City, and keeps us at the forefront of globally demonstrating the practicality and operational flexibility of hydrogen technologies, leading to future decarbonisation.” said Councillor Philip Bell, Aberdeen City Council’s Hydrogen Spokesperson. Aberdeen claims to have Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses.
The work was delivered as part of project HyTIME, within the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK.