Deakin University’s hydrogen program Hycel and PACCAR Australia will develop zero-emissions solutions for the domestic heavy haulage market using the first hydrogen prime mover in Australia.
The truck is one of 10 prototype Kenworth T680 fuel cell vehicles in existence and was included in world-first operational trials in the Port of Los Angeles in 2022. It forms the center of Hycel’s hydrogen mobility program, with an initial focus on the performance characteristics of a heavy vehicle hydrogen fuel cell powertrain.
“Deakin specializes in industry-led research collaborations. Partnering with PACCAR Australia means our team has direct, hands-on access to the T680 to familiarize ourselves with its operability. This hardware is critical to complementing our laboratory work,” said Deakin’s Hycel Deputy Research Director, Associate Professor Michael Pereira.
Hycel will first analyze data from the US pilot program to understand how key elements of a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain perform and respond to operational demands.
“From here, we are developing state-of-the-art computer simulation models to predict the hydrogen fuel cell system and powertrain demands for Australia’s unique freight haulage conditions,” added Pereira. “Specifically, we’re addressing the Australian transport sector’s demands to deliver more payload per truck over longer distances, when compared to other places in the world.”
Research has begun on Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus and in the future will continue at the Hycel Technology Hub, a bespoke hydrogen research, demonstration and training facility currently under construction on Deakin’s Warrnambool campus (due for completion in November 2023).
With the heavy transport sector currently contributing an estimated 2% of Australia’s carbon emissions, the Hycel program applies Deakin’s unique engineering, materials, data and IT expertise to assist industry in its transition from diesel to zero-emissions hydrogen solutions.
“Decarbonizing Australia’s heavy vehicle transport is a vital step toward reducing emissions and achieving reduction targets. As research and innovation partner to businesses like PACCAR Australia, we are thrilled to advance uptake of hydrogen in our nation’s clean energy future,” commented Deakin’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research Professor Julie Owens.
Source: Deakin University