Mini-Beemer still a screamer

Oct. 20, 2005
There's new proof a hydrogen internal-combustion engine is suitable for cars smaller than the BMW 7 Series — much smaller.

There's new proof a hydrogen internal-combustion engine is suitable for cars smaller than the BMW 7 Series — much smaller.

Four undergrad and two doctoral students at theIngolstadt University of Applied Sciences have built a remote-controlled model of a hydrogen-powered BMW racing vehicle called the H2R. Ingolstadt familiarizes students with hydrogen technology.

The model measures 70 cm (27.6 in.) long, 25 cm (9.8 in.) wide, and 15 cm (5.9 in.) high, and can hit a top speed of 80 km/hr (49.7 mph).

Last year, BMW broke nine international records with the full-size version of its H2R. The racer maxed out at over 300 km/hr (186 mph) on hydrogen.

Planning for the engine, hydrogen tank and all remaining parts took place with help from simulation software. The body was rapidly prototyped using the original plans for the full-scale BMW H2R. The students designed the chassis.

The assembled model, built on a scale of 1:8, is an accurate replica of the real thing. The chassis is aluminum and carbon fiber. Propulsion comes from a 2.2-hp, supercharged, watercooled, four-stroke engine.

Two high-pressure tanks store the equivalent of 60 liters of hydrogen. Alternatively, the model can carry two metal-hydride containers holding the equivalent of 300 liters of fuel. This would power the vehicle for about 25 min.

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