Cummins Inc. confirmed its commitment to the IAA to play a major role in the hydrogen economy as part of its Destination Zero initiative.
“Cummins has been at the forefront of developing power solutions for more than a hundred years, and we continue to demonstrate industry leadership by developing a diverse line of sustainable powertrains – with hydrogen playing a key role,” said said Alison Trueblood, Executive Director of Cummins – On-Highway Business Europe. “Our goal is to focus on the entire hydrogen value chain to drive sustainability and enable faster adoption.”
Through acquisitions and investments, Cummins is focused on three key areas for hydrogen: green hydrogen production, hydrogen management and transportation, and the application of hydrogen in engines and fuel cells.
Production of green hydrogen
Green hydrogen is produced by electrolysis to transform sustainable energy (wind, solar, hydro) into hydrogen without carbon dioxide emissions. As announced in May 2021, Cummins is establishing a new Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Electrolyzer plant in Spain that will house system assembly and testing for approximately 500 MW/year and will be scalable to over 1 GW/year . Cummins is investing in this technology, with more than 600 electrolyzers deployed worldwide in 100 countries.
Hydrogen storage and supply
On-board storage is an essential part of hydrogen production. The hydrogen must be compressed into the available space to store enough of it to meet the vehicle’s duty cycle requirements. Cummins has a joint venture with NPROXX, a world leader in high pressure hydrogen storage for stationary and mobile applications, to support the OEM integration process.
NPROXX hydrogen tanks were installed on the concept medium-duty delivery vehicle on the Cummins booth at the IAA. The truck is powered by Cummins’ 216 kW B6.7H hydrogen engine and paired with a high-capacity hydrogen storage system at 700 bar pressure, enabling a potential range of up to 500 kilometres.
“The offer and the infrastructures will take time to develop. Hydrogen adoption will likely begin with applications where fueling can be done centrally, such as home operations or near large hydrogen hubs,” Trueblood noted.
Cummins is developing hydrogen combustion engines that will provide sustainable solutions more aligned with current vehicle designs to reduce complexity for OEMs and their customers. Reusing appropriate components results in economies of scale while providing reliability and durability equal to diesel.
In addition to the medium truck’s B6.7H hydrogen engine, IAA visitors could see Cummins’ largest X15H hydrogen engine for heavy trucks up to 44T GVW, with a maximum output of 530 hp (395 kW). ) and an impressive peak torque of 2600 Nm.
“A hydrogen combustion engine fits into today’s vehicles, works with today’s transmissions, and integrates seamlessly into existing industry networks and service practices,” said added Trueblood.
Hydrogen fuel cells
Hydrogen fuel cell technology can offer an efficient power solution for heavy-duty vehicles with high energy usage and requirements, while meeting zero emissions needs. The fuel cell uses oxygen to create a reaction, turning hydrogen into electricity. It works with battery technology – ultra-capacitors, lithium-ion or lead-acid – in a parallel hybrid configuration to provide instantaneous response.
Cummins showcased its fourth-generation fuel cell at the IAA that offers improved power density, efficiency, and durability while producing zero greenhouse gases and zero air emissions criteria. It is available in 135 kW single module and 270 kW dual module motors for medium and heavy duty applications.
“We view hydrogen engines and fuel cells as complementary energy sources, offering different options to customers depending on where they are on their path to zero carbon. The introduction of hydrogen engines market will also accelerate the growth of hydrogen infrastructure to support widespread adoption of fuel cell powertrains,” Trueblood concluded.
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