Sunday, February 25, 2024
Maritime Propulsion

May 17, 2023

Japanese OEMs to Jointly Develop Hydrogen Engines

© Shawn Hempel / Adobe Stock

Kawasaki Motors, Suzuki Motor Corporation, Honda Motor, and Yamaha Motor have received approval from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to form a technological research association called HySE (Hydrogen Small mobility & Engine technology).

The partners will develop hydrogen-powered engines for motorcycles, Japan-originated mini-vehicles, small marine vessels, construction equipment and drones.

The use of hydrogen poses technical challenges, including fast flame speed and a large region of ignition, which often result in unstable combustion, and the limited fuel tank capacity available on small vehicles. In addressing these issues, the members of HySE are committed to conducting fundamental research and aim to work together with the joint mission of establishing a design standard for small mobility’s hydrogen-powered engine.

Kenji Komatsu, Chairman nominee of HySE and Executive Officer of Technical Research & Development Center, Yamaha Motor, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce the planned formation of the association. There are many challenges in the development of hydrogen-powered engines, but we hope to see the association’s activities advance the fundamental research in order to meet those challenges. We are committed to this endeavor with a sense of mission to preserve the use of internal combustion engines, which epitomize the long-time efforts that our predecessors have invested.”

The main research and development areas are:

1.Research on hydrogen-powered engines

Research on the model-based development of hydrogen-powered engines (Honda)

Element study on functionality, performance, and reliability (Suzuki)

Hands-on research using real hydrogen-powered engines on their functionality, performance, and reliability (Yamaha Motor, Kawasaki Motors)

2.Study on hydrogen refueling system

Studying the requirements for a hydrogen refueling system and hydrogen tanks for small mobility (Yamaha)

3.Study on fuel supply system

Studying the auxiliary equipment required for a fuel supply system and tanks, and the equipment installed between the fuel tank and the injector (Kawasaki Motors)

In addition to the full members, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Toyota Motor Corporation support the association as special members. Kawasaki Heavy Industries, will bring expertise gained from the “CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association” (HySTRA). Toyota has experience in designing large hydrogen-fueled power units for four-wheel vehicles.