PNDC has taken delivery of HVS’s (Hydrogen Vehicle Systems Ltd) first hydrogen Medium Commercial Vehicle (MCV) prototype, for the next key phase of testing, where PNDC will be carrying out performance testing of the chosen fuel cell as part of a £15 million grant-funded project from the UK government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

As a consortium partner in the project, PNDC will support the development of a vehicle control system and undertake system validation utilising our Power Hardware in the Loop (PHiL) capability to expedite vehicle powertrain development and testing.

The vehicle is a demonstrator for a hydrogen-powered MCV, which uses a cut-down version of the drivetrain used in the larger heavy goods vehicle (HGV) prototypes being developed by HV Systems.

PNDC will use the vehicle as a static testbed to evaluate and characterise the electrical and thermal performance of the onboard hydrogen fuel cell, including assessing the degradation during realistic driving scenarios based on the larger HGV design. HV Systems will use the results from the testing to refine the design of their vehicle control system to maximise performance and fuel cell lifetime.

During testing, PNDC will be supplying the fuel cell using our hydrogen supply infrastructure and taking the electrical output to our electronic load, following which, we will be testing the fuel cell in a PHiL scenario, using the electronic load to emulate the electrical systems of the HGV. This will use PNDC’s existing expertise in PHiL techniques for energy networks, transferring them to the electrified transport sector, a significant growth area for PNDC.

We are proud to be a partner in the HVS led consortium to develop the UK’s first hydrogen fuel cell HGV. As an industry-facing innovation centre, we support ambitious companies such as HVS to accelerate technology development and decrease time to market. Our contribution to the project helps achieve that by leveraging the unique engineering expertise and open access facility at PNDC to support HVS’ engineering programme through modelling, testing and validating the performance of the vehicle power system.

In the next phase of this project, PNDC are testing the state-of-the-art fuel cell technology within the MCV demonstrator. This is one example of our growing expertise in delivering projects which enable the decarbonisation of transport. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with HVS in helping to bring new zero-emission HGVs and associated hydrogen technologies to the market.

Dan Cutting, Business Development Manager, PNDC

HVS are proud to be working with PNDC and Strathclyde University on this project. We are thankful to the Advanced Propulsion Centre for facilitating this collaboration through the APC20 grant fund. This enables industry and academia to work together to deliver innovations to the market. Hydrogen power presents significant challenges, which we and PNDC will tackle ‘head on’ to bring our hydrogen powered trucks to market in the coming years.

Steve Clayton, Chief Product Officer, HVS

Following the fuel cell performance testing at PNDC, the next steps for HVS are end user trials, with an ambitious target to have their hydrogen trucks on the motorways by mid-decade.

Project overview & MCV Demonstrator arrival at PNDC

In Pictures: MCV Demonstrator arrives at PNDC

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PNDC’s evolving test and demonstration capability

PNDC continues to build on its significant experience in power systems to accelerate and de-risk the development and deployment of novel, low-carbon, zero-emission transport technologies. In collaboration with a wide range of changemakers from industry, government and academia, we are creating exciting new opportunities for the supply chain through our proven track record and evolving capabilities in whole system solutions, providing investors with the evidence base they require for large-scale deployment.

Get in touch to discuss collaborative opportunities and to find out more about PNDC’s distinct capabilities and facilities.