Porsche’s hydrogen engine rivals V8 gasoline engine

Porsche has created a hydrogen engine prototype for high-end sports cars that can rival a V8, 4.4-liter internal combustion engine while using less gasoline and emitting emissions that are comparable to those of the surrounding air.

The idea was first imagined by the manufacturer in the middle of 2022, and it has since been entirely digitally designed. Porsche used sophisticated virtual engine simulations to develop a digital representation of the hydrogen engine. The digital data set for its gasoline-powered cousin served as the starting point for the development of the H2 drivetrain. This served as a baseline that the H2 version had to at least match.

The standard internal combustion engine was altered to accommodate H2 gas, including increasing the compression ratio and changing the combustion process. Additionally, a brand-new turbocharging system is included.

The turbochargers must provide around twice the air mass as needed in a comparable gasoline-powered model in order to accomplish clean H2 combustion. However, as the alternative fuel could result in lower gas temperatures, the design also needed to account for this to prevent a shortage of propulsion energy.

Because traditional turbochargers couldn’t fix the problem, the hydrogen engine needed to be redesigned. Porsche Engineering had to create alternatives because conventional turbochargers are unable to address that problem. In fact, they developed four fresh ideas for turbocharging.

Each of the alternate systems was made up of several turbochargers that were powered by electricity. Within their electrically powered compressors and air systems, additional control valves were introduced in some cases. The company claimed that each alternate configuration has pros and cons of its own. The utilization of the hydrogen engine is heavily reliant on the best alternative. A key component of the design that competed with the gasoline-powered type was back-to-back compressors.

As a result, the hydrogen engine was able to match up favorably with gasoline-powered V8 engines, producing a maximum of 440kW and reaching a top speed of 261km/h.