On the occasion of the SIA* (Société des Ingénieurs de l’Automobile) day on hydrogen engines, in Orléans, our journalist, Laurent Meillaud, was able to take a short ride with Borgwarner’s demonstrator.
The American equipment manufacturer, which is established in Blois (France), and collaborates with the Prisme laboratory in Orléans, is playing a bit at home. It therefore came with its demonstration vehicle, which is a Citroën Jumpy supplied by Stellantis. By the by: the model has the steering wheel on the right. The teams modified the original engine, which is a 2-litre HDI with 150 horsepower. The piston and cylinder head had to be modified and the diesel engine had to be converted to petrol with the associated electronic control and a spark plug instead of a glow plug. This may sound strange, but the intention was to show that it was possible to adapt an engine of this type to direct hydrogen injection.
Borgwarner also installed a hydrogen cylinder that stores the gaseous fuel at a pressure of 350 bar. With 9 kg, the vehicle is capable of driving 300 km. It should be remembered that this is a large utility vehicle, with a wind load that does not make it a model of aerodynamic efficiency.
The hydrogen is injected into the cylinders at a pressure of 30 bars. This is much less than the 300 bars of diesel injection. As for the sensations, the vehicle becomes much quieter. In fact, it is as noisy as a petrol model, but with lower fuel consumption. There is also less vibrations and the rattling is gone.
If a manufacturer wants to go down the road of the H2 engine, it would have to start from a petrol engine and simply replace the injectors with H2 injectors,” explains Borgwarner. As for hydrogen storage, it would be under pressure at 700 bars and with better integration to double the range.
For now, Borgwarner is only at the demonstrator stage. But the Blois site – which is a world centre of excellence for the group – has all the assets to support manufacturers.
*An association of French engineers, managers, technicians and automotive professionals working in the automotive sector in France.
To learn more about this day organised by the SIA, see our last two articles on the subject here and there.
Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King