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Fuel-cell race car relies on Bürkert valve technology

08 March 2013

Hydrogen/electric motive power made possible by dedicated technology from fluid control specialist Bürkert.

A total of 134 teams from universities in 34 countries competed against each other in racing cars they had designed and constructed themselves at the Silverstone circuit in this year's Formula Student Competition. 

One of the most innovative cars at the starting line was the Forze V from the Delft University of Technology – the lurid coloured racer was green in more ways than one, as it was the only vehicle in the race to be powered by a fuel cell. The hydrogen/electric motive power made possible by dedicated technology from fluid control specialist Bürkert.

With a weight of only 280kg, a length of 3m, 18kW of power (fuel cell only) or temporarily up to 60kW (including regenerative braking power) and a speed of about 120km/h – at first glance the performance data of the Forze V seems modest in comparison with conventionally fuelled race cars, however, this first impression is deceptive, as confirmed by the reaction of Ross Brawn, team leader of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team.

Ross Brawn, impressed by the engineering of the Dutch students, called the Forze V "an outstanding example of genuine innovation".  In contrast to the overwhelming majority of the race cars at the starting line in Silverstone, this one was powered, not by a combustion engine, but by an electric motor. And, unlike all the other electric vehicles in the race, it was powered by a fuel cell rather than a battery. 

 
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