Wednesday, December 06, 2006

World's First Fuel Cell Motorcycle

This is ENV, the world's first purpose-built, fuel-cell motorbike - ahead of any of the world's leading automotive companies. The ENV bike is the creation of Intelligent Energy, a British energy solutions company, whose board includes Chairman Sir John Jennings, the former Chairman of Shell Transport and Trading.

The ENV (Emissions Neutral Vehicle) bike was designed to Intelligent Energy's brief by a British team, led by multi-award-winning designers Seymourpowell. The ENV bike is fully-functioning and has been engineered and purpose-built (based around Intelligent Energy's CORE fuel cell) from the ground up, demonstrating the real, everyday applicability of fuel cell technology. The CORE, which is completely detachable from the bike, is a radically compact and efficient fuel cell, capable of powering anything from a motorboat to a small domestic property.

The ENV bike is different. It offers an exhilarating glimpse of what can be achieved: a great-looking and exciting fuel-cell motorbike. "In the none-too-distant future", commented Intelligent Energy CEO Harry Bradbury, "people will be able to use a bike like ENV to leave work in an urban environment, drive to the countryside, detach the CORE and attach it to another vehicle, such as a motorboat, before going on to power a log cabin with the very same fuel cell, which could then be re-charged from a mini hydrogen creator, the size of a shoebox."

The ENV motorcycle

ENV is lightweight, streamlined and aerodynamic. In an urban or off-road environment, it can reach speeds of 50 mph. It is also virtually silent (with noise emissions equivalent to an everyday home computer) and its emissions are almost completely clean. On a full tank, the ENV bike could be used continually for up to four hours without any need for re-fuelling. The bike can also be used by riders of any skill level with simple controls, via a throttle directly linked to the applied power. The bike has no gears and is strictly defined as a motorbike, although it feels to riders more like a very quick and responsive mountain bike. "ENV is light, fast and fun", commented Seymourpowell director Nick Talbot. "It has good ground clearance, great off-road suspension travel and a very carefully considered power to weight ratio. I have ridden motorbikes for years", he added, "and, in the process of designing the bike, I have become a convert to fuel cell technology. The bike is usable, useful and great-looking. It was important on this project to demonstrate that new technologies don't have to be wrapped up in a dull product ­ engaging public imagination and enthusiasm is key."

ENV has been produced in two monochromatic colourways: black supergloss and iridescent white. 'This was to express the bike's parallel natures', explained Nick Talbot. "On the one hand, it expresses a utopian future vision of clean power, anywhere - and on the other, it's an exciting, hard-edged bike and fun to ride."

The bike's primary frame and swinging arm are made from hollow-cast aircraft grade aluminium. At the bike's heart is a fully-integrated 1kW fuel cell generator providing power on demand directly to the drive-train. To enhance performance during peak power demand (ie when accelerating), the fuel cell is hybridised with a battery pack to provide a 6kW peak load to the motor. The result is a balanced hybrid concept which combines the main advantages of Intelligent Energy's CORE fuel cell, hydrogen storage and battery technology."

The design of the CORE

"When it came to designing the casing for the CORE", commented Seymourpowell's Nick Talbot, "we treated it as a standalone project, giving this radical fuel cell its due as a beautiful, valuable and useful energy resource. The CORE, which can be detached completely from the bike, is therefore designed to create interest as an enigmatic object. Although mostly encased in identical aluminium to the bike, of which it at first seems a completely integral part, the CORE is also part-covered on one plane in a micro-etched, textured and durable shell, in a pattern derived from brain coral. The pattern alludes to the fact that this is solid state technology ­ but is also functional, in that the intricate patterns also disperse heat. We wanted this to be a finer and more beautiful object than, say, a diesel generator - and to make people look again at this new technology with a sense of wonder."

"The launch of ENV breaks new ground and opens up a whole new field of opportunities for low- and high-power fuel cell motorbikes,' commented Harry Bradbury. 'ENV and its successors are good for the consumer and the environment. This is a fun vehicle with a realistic role to play in the leisure environment, as well as a role in emissions reduction from Boston to Bangkok. There has been much talk about low-carbon emission vehicles. Here is one at last."

Key Components of the Bike Power System

Motor - 6kW, 48 VDC Brush motor (model LEM-170, supplied by LMC)
Motor Controller - Brusa Direct Current (model MD 206)
Fuel Cell - 1kW Intelligent Energy air-cooled (2 x AC32-48)
Hydrogen Storage - High pressure carbon composite cylinder (Luxfer L65)
Hydrogen Energy - 2.4kWeh
Storage Battery - 4 x 12V Lead Acid (15Ahr) connected in series

Performance Data

Acceleration - 0 ­ 20 mph in 4.3s (32kph), 0 ­ 30 mph in 7.3s (48 kph), 0 ­ 50 mph in 12.1s (80kph)
Top speed - 50 mph (80kph) (note: ENV has been tested to 50mph ­ however, with further refinements and redevelopments, this top speed is expected to be exceeded)
Range - At least 100 miles (160km)


Bike mass - 80 kg (Total mass including CORE)


Hydrogen - 99.9% purity
Oxygen - Taken from air
Hydrogen refuel time less than 5 minutes


Electrical connection - Multi-core (Intelligent Energy specific)

Source:- Rubbermag


tpraja said...

Have you seen the new India search engine they added all the cool features of popular products like MySpace, YouTube, Ebay, Craigslist, etc. all for free to use and specifically for India. Anyone else try this yet? First to Blend Search, Social Network, Video Sharing and Auctions Into One Seamless Product for Indian Internet Users.