MELBOURNE: Researchers in Australia have built a hydrogen-powered racing car using a modified internal combustion motorcycle engine, that they claim
demonstrates the possibilities of the gas as a renewable fuel of the future.
A team at RMIT University here in collaboration with the Fachhochschule Ingolstadt in Germany has designed the car which will be bidding for the title of the world's fastest hydrogen-powered racer in 2009 when it attempts to break the Guinness World Records for speed by a vehicle of its class.
Powered by an internal combustion motorcycle engine that has been modified to run on hydrogen, the racing car is expected to reach speeds of up to 170 kmh in its world record bid, to be held in Germany.
According to lead researcher Prof Aleksandar Subic, the hydrogen car project could radically change the world's approach to automotive technologies.
"This is a demonstration vehicle for the future -- a car that is powerful, fast and runs on clean, sustainable fuel. By aiming to set a new speed record for one-seater, hydrogen-powered racing cars, we want to show the world the possibilities of this alternative clean technology, both for ordinary vehicles and in racing.
"Our work will have benefits for all cars but we also hope it could lead one day to a first in racing -- a clean and green Formula 1 competition," Prof Subic said.
RMIT Vice-Chancellor Prof Margaret Gardner said the hydrogen racing car was an example of the varsity's ground -breaking work in automotive engineering research.
"This project was not just about theory -- it exposed RMIT students to the actual challenges of building and testing a racing car using cutting-edge sustainable automotive technology," Prof Gardner said.
7 months ago