Landi Renzo Launches a New Mechatronic Hydrogen Pressure Regulator for Commercial Vehicles

Landi Renzo, a leader in sustainable natural gas, biomethane and hydrogen mobility, has announced the development of an advanced electronic pressure regulator for mid- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles with hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines (ICEs). This project is part of the company’s collaboration with Bosch, one of the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. The two companies aim to produce and commercialize hydrogen-based fuel systems featuring the next-generation mechatronic pressure regulator by 2024.

What is a Mechatronic Hydrogen Pressure Regulator?

A mechatronic hydrogen pressure regulator is a device that controls the pressure of hydrogen gas in the fuel line of a hydrogen vehicle. It acts as a decoupling element between the high-pressure hydrogen storage tank and the low-pressure fuel injection system of the engine. A mechatronic pressure regulator combines mechanical and electronic components to achieve optimal performance, accuracy and efficiency.

The EM-H mechatronic pressure regulator, designed and manufactured in Italy by Landi Renzo, consists of two stages: a mechanical input stage that reduces the pressure from high (up to 700 bar) to medium (around 30 bar), and an electronic output stage that lowers the pressure from medium to the desired value (between 2 and 10 bar). The system also features special valves to protect both the pressure regulator and the downstream fuel line from overpressure or leakage.

The EM-H mechatronic pressure regulator is compatible with hydrogen and can provide the ideal pressure for the injectors at every operating speed and load, thus optimizing the combustion process for future high-pressure injection systems. To ensure safety, the new pressure regulator is a completely sealed product that prevents any hydrogen leakage.

Why is it Important for Hydrogen Mobility?

Hydrogen mobility is a promising solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution from transportation, especially for heavy-duty vehicles that require long range and fast refueling. Hydrogen vehicles use hydrogen fuel cells or hydrogen ICEs to power electric motors that drive the wheels. Hydrogen fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and water, while hydrogen ICEs burn hydrogen and air in a modified gasoline engine.

Hydrogen ICEs have some advantages over fuel cells, such as lower cost, higher durability, easier integration with existing engine platforms, and better cold-start performance. However, hydrogen ICEs also face some challenges, such as lower efficiency, higher NOx emissions, and more complex fuel delivery systems. A mechatronic hydrogen pressure regulator can help overcome some of these challenges by ensuring optimal hydrogen pressure management and calibration according to the vehicle’s requirements.

Landi Renzo’s new mechatronic hydrogen pressure regulator is a milestone of technological advancement that can offer a highly innovative solution for hydrogen ICEs. The new regulators combine the potential of traditional vehicles with the possibility of zero CO2 emissions. This is a significant contribution to the energy transition and decarbonization of the mobility and transportation sector.

How Does it Compare to Other Pressure Regulators?

There are different types of pressure regulators for hydrogen applications, such as mechanical, electro-mechanical, and mechatronic. The table below summarizes some of their main features and differences.

Type Description Pros Cons
Mechanical A simple and robust regulator that uses a spring-loaded diaphragm to control the pressure Low cost, high reliability, easy maintenance Low accuracy, low efficiency, limited performance
Electro-mechanical A regulator that uses an electric solenoid valve to control the pressure Higher accuracy, higher efficiency, better performance Higher cost, lower reliability, more maintenance
Mechatronic A regulator that uses a combination of mechanical and electronic components to control the pressure Highest accuracy, highest efficiency, best performance Highest cost, lower reliability, more maintenance

As can be seen from the table, a mechatronic pressure regulator offers the best performance, accuracy and efficiency, but also the highest cost and complexity. Therefore, it is suitable for applications that require high precision and flexibility, such as hydrogen ICEs for commercial vehicles.

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