Formula Hydrogen Speeding To A World Record

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31st March 2010, 12:33pm - Views: 734

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Formula Hydrogen speeding to a world record

The RMIT University team behind Australia’s first hydrogen racing car is

celebrating another milestone, with the clean and green racer reaching a world

record speed for its class in trials recently held in Germany.

The car, which is powered by a two-cylinder internal combustion motorcycle engine

converted to run on hydrogen, reached 133kmh during speed trials held last month

at a military airport in Ingolstadt.

But the team behind the pioneering project is aiming to beat its own record by

pushing the racer beyond 150kmh in further speed trials planned for June.

Professor Aleksandar Subic, Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and

Manufacturing Engineering, said researchers were compiling the initial speed trial

results – independently verified by members of the German military – for an official

submission to the Guinness World Records.

“The trial was held on a bitterly cold day, in minus 7 degree temperatures, which

isn’t ideal as the cold affects both the hydrogen fuel and the aerodynamics due to

the density of air and drag,” Professor Subic said.

“But despite the difficult conditions, the racer still managed to twice reach a top

speed of 133kmh to set a new record for a hydrogen-powered car of its class. 

“This is an incredible achievement for a compact and fully sustainable racing car

that emits nothing but water vapour, but we know it can go even faster and the

upcoming speed trials will be our chance to push the racer to its limits.”

A collaboration between RMIT and Germany’s Fachhochschule Ingolstadt

University of Applied Sciences, the Formula Hydrogen project was designed to

produce a demonstration vehicle using cutting-edge sustainable automotive


The racing car has been showcased at several European automotive industry

expos over the past year and will return to Melbourne in mid-2010.

The Australian and German teams are now working with Audi on Formula H Mk 2,

in which two Audi TTs will be converted to run on hydrogen, using the internal

combustion redesign concept developed for the original project.

“RMIT will be focusing on developing a novel hydrogen fuel cell system to power all

the vehicle’s auxiliary systems and to reduce the level of pressure required for

hydrogen storage,” Professor Subic said.

“It’s fantastic to have Audi on board, supporting our research and development in

this promising field.”

For media enquiries: RMIT University Communications, David Glanz, (03)

9925 2807 or 0438 547 723.

31 March, 2010

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