Mahle Powertrain, which works as an integration partner for Bramble Energy in developing a novel new hydrogen fuel cell technology, plans to unveil the demonstration vehicle soon. The first demonstrator vehicle is helping to optimise the integration of the company’s Printed Circuit Board Fuel Cell (PCBFC) technology within the powertrain of a Renault Kangoo ZE. According to Mahle, the vehicle will showcase the reduced-cost, high-performance potential of high power density liquid-cooled fuel cells.
Mahle Powertrain was chosen to support Bramble Energy on the integration project, which leverages high volume printed circuit board manufacturing techniques to reduce cost and ease of production scalability, due to its expertise in EV control systems, zero-emission vehicle systems integration and cooling system development.
The utilisation of PCB technology enables Bramble Energy to offer a bespoke fuel cell capability and enhanced production flexibility, in addition to robustness inherent in the printed circuit board manufacturing process. It also enables the company to strip back fuel cell complexity and reduce weight, negating the need for separate sealing materials and lowering the number of components without negatively impacting build quality or performance.
Jonathan Hall, Head - Research & Advanced Engineering Projects, Mahle Powertrain, said, “The commercial vehicle sector is currently exploring alternative fuel options as several large fleet operators pledge to meet net-zero CO2 emission. PCBFC technology provides a high power density solution that is perfectly suited to typical commercial vehicle duty cycles. In addition, we hope accelerated development of fuel cell technologies will have the knock-on effect of inspiring increased deployment of supporting infrastructure for areas where it is currently lacking.”
Dr Tom Mason, Bramble Energy CEO and CTO, said, “We’re excited to be working with MAHLE Powertrain on this integration project and to be so close to showcasing the benefits of our PCBFC technology in a liquid-cooled application. Delivery of this project will be a milestone moment for both Bramble Energy and net-zero CV powertrains, and we cannot wait to demonstrate the tangible performance and cost benefits to the CV industry.”