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News

A silent, exhaust fumes-free scooter

Delft University Of Technology : 20 November, 2006  (Technical Article)
A scooter that does not make noise nor emit harmful exhaust fumes, this was the research result of Crijn Bouman's graduation project. Bouman, an Industrial Design Engineering student at TU Delft, developed a working prototype of the
Bouman's FHybird is environmentally friendly (no exhaust fumes and no noise) and during test-drives performed as well as a normal 'petrol scooter'. The FHybird scooter has a top speed of 65 km/ph and can travel approximately 200 km on a full tank of hydrogen. Moreover, the scooter's acceleration is superior to that of a standard 'petrol scooter'. A special feature of this scooter is its ability to drive (slowly) in reverse.

The FHybrid was designed to be hydrogen-powered, but for now the prototype is powered by batteries, with the help of a special fuel-cell simulator that was specially designed for this project. 'A special course and various permits are required to build a hydrogen-powered engine. It wasn't possible to achieve this during the time period of my graduation project,' Crijn Bouman explained. 'The faculty is now trying to assemble all the necessary means to fully develop the hydrogen-powered scooter.'

The FHybrid is the first front-wheel driven hydrogen-powered scooter. The scooter has an electric engine that mainly derives its power from a (Li-ion) battery. This battery (primarily when the scooter is stationary) is charged by a compact fuel-cell system, which derives its energy from hydrogen (from a tank) and oxygen (from the air). The battery moreover stores up energy when the scooter brakes. Depending on the amount of traffic, this so-called regenerating braking system reduces the hydrogen consumption by 10-20 percent.

Bouman has equipped the scooter with a traffic assistant, which enables the scooter's electric engine to be very precisely controlled when travelling at low speeds. The external design of the FHybrid is also very different from that of a standard scooter design.

The FHybrid's complete drive system and energy management system were built by Epyon, a TU Delft spin-off company, of which Bouman is one of the founders, and in partnership with the Delft Design Institute.
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