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Chevrolet Equinox hydrogen has more than greeting pious

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File: green technologies of the future

Hybrid vehicles

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Roll has years without a drop of gasoline, here is the Honda FCX Clarity and Equinox Fuel Cell

At the Auto Show in New York last March, the legendary Bob Lutz, now vice-president of General Motors, said regret not having seen it coming rising oil prices and the strong restrictions matter pollution. I must admit, however, that his company is not the only firm to have eyes too long ... Anyway, General Motors is currently one of the automakers that most studied alternative energies. We think of the Volt, a hybrid vehicle "plug in" (a plug into household current) or to such vehicles, more numerous among the first American manufacturer to offer a hybrid powertrain. One of the energies that attract more eyes these days is hydrogen. Moreover, several European cities (London, Madrid and Stuttgart) have already been testing the hydrogen powered bus, BMW has recently launched its Hydrogen 7 Series in Europe and Honda, through its FCX Clarity will be its interpretation.  

To remain one of the world leaders in research on hydrogen as fuel, General Motors decided last fall to prepare a fleet of Chevrolet Equinox percent rolling has hydrogen. These vehicles are modified in Oshawa, Ontario and are not sold at dealerships. They are part of an important test program and are intended has a target audience that inhabits the cities of New York, Washington DC or Southern California and use the vehicles for three months before returning to GM. During our meeting with Dick Kauling, the chief engineer of the project last February, 65 of these very special Equinox rolled already.

A little history ...

In 2005, the Auto Show in Detroit, General Motors presented a concept called Sequel. This vehicle, whose peculiarity was in its engine has hydrogen (fuel cell or, if you prefer, a fuel cell) was particularly well appointed as was leaving ... sequels! The technology that drives the Chevrolet Equinox hydrogen is the same but improved. We can say without fear of being wrong that is the deuxiemegeneration of fuel cells.

During our visit Oshawa, we visited the place or become Equinox hydrogen vehicles. Technicians first start by removing the engine, transmission, exhaust, most of the front section and a good part of the chassis back to a regular Equinox. Before thinking to install the new equipment must change considerably below the vehicle so that it can, a little later in the process, receiving tanks of hydrogen in carbon. Then, install the powertrain hydrogen, reservoirs and computer that will manage everything. 

2H2 + O2 = 2H2O

But how the hydrogen can it advance a vehicle? The principle is simple but complicated. And do not rely on the author of these lines, holds a 34% in chemistry Secondary IV to the side complicated! The simple side of the thing is that three components must be for there to be a chemical reaction. A fuel cell, the hydrogen and oxygen. When hydrogen and oxygen are combined in a fuel cell or are anodes, cathodes, and between, two catalysts separated by a condition called plastic membrane PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane), a chemical reaction occurs, creating electricity. What remains of this reaction, in addition to electricity, is water, evacuee by a system breakdown much like a normal exhaust. This electricity is sent to an electric motor that relays power and created the front wheels (the Equinox hydrogen can receive integral cog unlike its counterpart gasoline). All that is well and good but as each has fuel cell produces only 0.7 Volt, it takes a lot to produce enough power ... which adds to the weight of the vehicle!

The Equinox hydrogen, whose front differs somewhat from that of the regular Equinox, would, according Kauling, a range of more than 300? Km and allow highly accurate performance, provided that the outside temperature is not lower was -25 Celsius. For now, one that badly taken at Quebec, would ride in a vehicle as hydrogen, to our knowledge, only two stations that offer fuel in Canada, one in Ottawa and one in British Columbia ...!  

The challenge for General Motors is much technological level that chapter of the image. As long as you invest millions, both benefit themselves the leaders of General Motors ... and everyone else! For we must not delude ourselves. The sudden craze for public green technologies assuredly plays a lot in this awareness of manufacturers. While ethanol-but the way of the future there aa barely two years, no longer has the dimension, it is possible that the hydrogen knows the same fate when the time comes to mass production. Maybe not. We'll talk!

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