Sixty students over two years have now completed Australia’s first hydrogen racing car. This is an update from a story I talked about a month ago where students from Australia and Germany collaborated on this Formula 1 style vehicle with a re-engineered motorcycle engine.
Currently the Formula H racer is powered by hydrogen created by the reformation of natural gas. Future plans, however, are for the hydrogen to be produced from water using an electrical current generated from wind or solar energy.
Omega Goodwin, New Media Advisor for RMIT University sent me the following technical details (and the photo above) about the Formula H racecar:
About the car
- Chassis: custom-designed tubular steel spaceframe, composite body panels
- Suspension: A-arm pushrod, via bell cranks
- Wheelbase: 2900mm
- Track: 1500mm
About the engine
- Based on a Rotax motorcycle engine, converted to run on hydrogen
- 2-cylinder, in-line
- 4 valves per cylinder
- Displacement: 800cc
- Power output target: 50kW
- Torque target: 60Nm
- Dimensions: 500mm (length), 395mm (breadth), 565mm (height)
About the hydrogen tank
- Made of high-tech carbon fibre, the tank weighs 28.1kg and can hold up to 1.075kg of hydrogen
- The hydrogen is stored as a compressed gas, at a pressure of 200 bar (200 times atmospheric pressure)
- Dimensions: 386mm (diameter) and 864mm (length)
- Volume: 72 litres
- Automatic shut-offs
One won’t have to wait too long to see the Formula H car in action as it will be appearing at the Melbourne International Motor Show (February 27 – March 9, 2009) and at the Melbourne Grand Prix (March 26-29, 2009).