Fuel cell racers begin international competitionPublished on August 25th, 2008 | By: email@example.com
The Auto Channel reports that on Saturday, the first hydrogen-powered go-cart “Formula Zero” race was held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Zero in the title of the race refers to zero emissions. The Aug. 23 race was the first of a planned championship series that seems as much designed to raise the profile of powerful hydrogen-powered vehicles as it is to spur student interest and innovation.
TACh reports that student teams from America, Spain, England, Belgium and the Netherlands have committed to the competition.
The Greenchoice Forze team from Delft University of Technology positioned itself as the team to watch after it won the main race and was first runner up behind the Spanish team in the sprint races. With these results, the team from Delft was declared the winner of the event and leader of the championship. The Delft group also won the award for best design and set the track one-lap record.
Organizers claim that this was the world’s first hydrogen race. Teams used fuel cell technology, which the Greenchoice-Delft group leveraged to produce a top speed of 100 km/h. In a standing start the team was able to punch out a 100 km/h speed in five seconds. Greenchoice-Delft used fuel cell-derived 8 kW (continuous) to drive two electric motors, plus used a regenerative braking to give their the kart has a temporary boost of 45 hp. The kart has more innovations such as two separate electric motors driving the left- and right wheel independently. The team also used independent steering, carbon fiber-reinforced resin and Dyneema polyethylene fiber to sharpen handling, cut weight and improve safety.
TACh says the races will continue in America and Europe.
“The willingness of people to change without sacrificing comfort, and the technologies that enable a sustainable world. Both aspects can be found in this project and we aim to showcase the possibilities of driving on hydrogen” says Rob van Rees, executive director of Greenchoice.