Monday, July 11, 2011

First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Race Car

On 9 July, TU Delft’s hydrogen race team Forze (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands) revealed their hydrogen-powered racing car in The Hague. With this car, the Delft students will be making their first appearance in Formula Student, a worldwide competition among 500 universities to be held next week. The Delft DUT Racing Team will also be participating in the Formula Student race in the electric racing car they unveiled in June.

On 9 July, TU Delft’s hydrogen race team Forze (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands) revealed their hydrogen-powered racing car in The Hague
Credit: Delft University of Technology

Hydrogen
“We are the first team in this worldwide competition to race using a hydrogen fuel cell. That’s a huge technical challenge in a racing car,” says team manager Wouter Krul. The hydrogen fuel cell converts water and oxygen into electricity. And, as long as the hydrogen is generated in an environmentally friendly manner, the only emission that occurs during this reaction is pure water. “Just as with our hydrogen carts, we want to show the potential of hydrogen as a sustainable fuel,” Krul explains.

First metres
The Delft hydrogen car, the Forze IV, rode its first metres on Saturday. Spuiplein was transformed into a circuit where Denis Donkervoort, racing the green car, treated the audience to a show full of burn-outs and doughnuts.

Forze IV: scoop
The car was designed for the Formula Student competition (http://www.formulastudent.com) on Silverstone Circuit in England. “This racing car is the first of its size to be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. So on 9 July, spectators could count on a real scoop,” says Wouter Krul. “The hydrogen car has a maximum speed of 120 km per hour and accelerates just as fast as a Porsche.”

Fuel cell
The team, which consists of around 50 students, gained three years’ experience designing and building hydrogen cars. Whereas in recent years the car was based on a super cart, this year the team decided to take things further and develop a more grown-up racing car. The new car is larger, has a complex suspension system and contains a new hydrogen fuel cell system designed by the students. It is this system which is responsible for the racing power as well as forming the beating heart of the racing car.

DUT Racing
Forze is the second Delft team to take part in the worldwide Formula Student race. The DUT Racing Team (http://dutracing.nl/?lang=en) has been participating since 2000 and with great success. Last year, the team won with their ultra-light bio-ethanol powered racing car on a jam-packed circuit in Hockenheim. This year, the DUT Racing Team made the transition to an electrically powered vehicle.

Contacts and sources:
Delft University of Technology

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