Viritech – Project ICEBreaker
Developing and testing a novel fuel–cell powertrain for HGVs, offering higher efficiency and lighter weight.
Project ICEBreaker will develop the powertrain for a prototype fuel-cell HGV featuring new technology to radically increase efficiency. Traditionally, the fuel cell has been used as a range extender in conjunction with a large battery pack (typically 140kWh). In contrast, Viritech’s powertrain design creates a dynamic energy system in which the fuel cell is the primary energy source, with fast discharge/fast recharge batteries, providing power for transient conditions (e.g. pulling away from rest). Using state-of-the-art power electronics, this architecture enables a lighter, more efficient powertrain that reduces the weight of the battery pack by over 80% compared to a range-extender, fuel–cell HGV. It will be demonstrated at Cenex Expo 2024.
- Consortium partner, Intelligent Energy, will provide its state-of-the-art heavy duty packaged fuel-cell systems and further optimise performance to minimise the total cost of ownership of the powertrain
- Consortium partner, HORIBA MIRA, will bring its strong expertise in thermal systems modelling, systems integration and vehicle optimisation, validation and certification to this project
- Post-project, the vehicle will be tested with major fleet customers, in order to prove the viability and efficiency savings of the Viritech powertrain
- Post-project, HORIBA MIRA will develop solutions to optimise total cost of ownership using advanced numerical tools and integrate the digital twin with MIRA’s driver-in-motion simulator, which will further extend the reach of this technology
- Total project value £2.9 million, with £1.4 million funded through the APC