410 Hp from 2-Liter Displacement – Prototype of the H₂-ICE Race Engine from AVL RACETECH Proves Itself on the Testbed
The motorsport department of AVL is celebrating the next milestone on the road to a zero-emission future of motorsport. The prototype of a hydrogen-powered, two-liter turbo engine – built by AVL RACETECH – was put through its paces on the testbed and confirmed the top values calculated previously in simulations: with a specific power density around 205 hp per liter (150 kW per liter), the engine achieves a highly competitive level in the world of motorsport. This is made possible by, among other things, an intelligent PFI water injection to moderate combustion.
Graz, Austria, October 2023: Up until now, hydrogen combustion engines (H₂-ICE) have been somewhat renowned for low performance figures and lean-burn. AVL RACETECH is banishing that “preconception”. Over the past few months, the motorsport department at AVL has developed an innovative H₂ racing engine in cooperation with the Hungarian HUMDA Lab. For AVL RACETECH it is the first race engine under its own name. On one of the engine testbeds modified for the use of hydrogen at the AVL headquarters in Graz, a prototype of the hydrogen-powered, two-liter turbo engine achieved a top figure of 410 hp (301.7 kW) with an engine speed of 6,500 rpm. The engine generates 500 Nm of torque at 3000 - 4000 rpm, that corresponds with a mean pressure (BMEP) of 32 bar.
The features include an intelligent PFI water injection, which injects additional water into the engine’s intake air, in order to avoid unwanted premature ignition, which can damage the engine. The air-fuel ratio (lambda) is 1 (stoichiometric combustion), meaning it is no longer in the lean range. The air demand, which is lower than with lean combustion, is covered by using a wastegate turbocharger designed specifically for that purpose.
AVL had performed detailed simulations in advance, which displayed an excellent correlation with the results recorded on the testbed. The next milestone in the development is to test the new engine concept in a car on the racetrack.
Project leader Paul Kapus, Manager Development Spark Ignited Engines: “At the end of 2022, we announced for the first time that we would be working on a two-liter, hydrogen-powered racing engine with stoichiometric combustion and PFI water injection. Our goals were 500 Nm of torque and an output of up to 300 kW (specific output 150 kW/l). We are proud to have been able to validate those figures on the testbed.”
Ellen Lohr, Director Motorsport AVL: “The results achieved by our H₂ racing engine confirm that we are able to deliver an extremely competitive package with this technology. The goal of AVL RACETECH is to lead motorsport into a sustainable future. With the development of the first racing engine developed under our own name – a high-performance H₂-ICE – we have taken another step closer to achieving this vision.”
With more than 11,200 employees, AVL is one of the world’s leading mobility technology companies for development, simulation and testing in the automotive industry, and beyond. Drawing on its pioneering spirit, the company provides concepts, solutions and methodologies for a greener, safer and better world of mobility.
From ideation phase to serial production, the company covers vehicle architectures and platform solutions including the impact of new propulsion systems and energy carriers. As a global technology provider, AVL’s offerings range from simulation, virtualization and test automation for product development to ADAS/AD and vehicle software. The company combines state-of-the-art and highly scalable IT, software and technology solutions with its application know-how, thereby offering customers extensive tools in areas such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity or Embedded Systems.
AVL's passion is innovation. Together with an international network of experts at more than 90 locations and with 45 Tech and Engineering Centers worldwide, AVL is supporting customers in their mobility ambitions. In 2022, the company generated a turnover of 1.86 billion Euros, of which 11 % are invested in R&D activities to ensure continuous innovation.
Markus Tomaschitz, Company Spokesman
AVL RACETECH, is the global motorsport division of AVL. For more than 20 years, AVL RACETECH works with customers in more than 17 racing series across the globe in the fields of engineering, testing, simulation and manufacturing. It is a key supplier for teams in the most respected racing series, from Formula 1 and NASCAR to MotoGP, and provides state-of-the-art technology and services to the motorsport world. AVL RACETECH views motorsport as a platform for innovations. We transform our team's expertise into technologies and solutions to `innovate-accelerate-lead`.
For more information: www.avlracetech.com
Verena Jorde, Marketing & Communication AVL RACETECH
Our mission: HUMDA Lab aims to be an incubator and leading organization for the Hungarian national motorsport research and development activities. Our story: We established the Lab in 2021 as a nonprofit organization focusing on scientific research, knowledge transfer, as well as high-tech and infrastructural developments in motorsports (and in a broader sense in mobility and automotive industry). In 2023 we became a subsidiary of Széchenyi István University Foundation, the managing authority of the University in the city of Győr, Hungary. Our headquarter is in Budapest with a branch office in Zalaegerszeg and Győr. We are a dedicated team of researchers, automotive system engineers, motorsport professionals, software developers and project managers with strong passion for racing.
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