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The BOC Gh2ost to attempt world record in August

BOC Gases : 23 June, 2003  (Company News)
BOC is to sponsor a world record attempt later this year to travel a distance equal to London to Vancouver on the equivalent of one gallon of petrol by using a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle.
The record attempt by ĎThe BOC Gh2ostí, powered by a silent and pollution free hydrogen fuel cell, will take place at this yearís Eco-Marathon Challenge to be held at the Grampian Transport Museum in Scotland from August 9-10. The existing distance record for a petrol engine class is 10,240 miles per gallon and was set at the museum in August 2001.

The eco-marathon, which Shell has supported for 25 years, is a Europe-wide event that encourages teams to design and build a vehicle that will attempt to extend the range of the combustion engine powered vehicle. The competition winner in each class is the vehicle that achieves the greatest distance on a set amount of fuel. The European circuit includes France, Scotland, Finland, Sweden, England and Belgium. Similar events take place in the USA, Japan and Australia.

The driving forces behind the project are Aberdeen-based Kenny Stewart, who has extensive experience of constructing ultra lightweight eco-marathon cars, and Dave McGrath of siGEN Limited, Scotlandís only commercial fuel cell company. They have built the vehicle as a test platform for future hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles.

Under the current rules of the marathon the team cannot enter the petrol class but have been asked by the eventís organisers to demonstrate the vehicle and attempt to break the world record at the same time. If successful the team hope that the organisers of the marathon will further expand the hydrogen class, introduced this year, to include a fuel-cell class for next yearís event.

'Our goals for the attempt are to set the hydrogen-powered zero emission distance world record, beat the existing combustion engine record and stimulate the drive of the eco-marathon to zero emission hydrogen power units,' said Dave McGrath.

The lightweight vehicle will weigh around 100 kg, including the driver; will have a top speed of 25 km/h; and will be powered by a direct drive brushless DC motor and a Ballard Nexa PEM fuel cell generator. BOC will supply the hydrogen in two, two-litre composite aluminium cylinders. In addition to supplying the hydrogen BOC will provide technical support to the team.

Kenny Stewart, said: 'An important consideration for the team is that of weight, and in particular the size of the driver. The test driver of the BOC Gh2ost is Anita Teo, a lecturer at Robert Gordon University who is also participating in the design of the carís power-train. However, the driver during the record attempt will be Claudia Woon, who weighs a mere 40kg.'

John Carolin, BOCís global director of hydrogen energy, said: 'As a company that prides itself on its ability to innovate, BOC is delighted to support this project. We are confident that projects such as this will demonstrate the superior energy efficiency of fuel cell technology and the practical use of hydrogen as a fuel.'

This project will expand BOCís already extensive knowledge of hydrogen technology, particularly in the safe use of high pressure gases in mobile applications.

After the record attempt in August, the vehicle will be displayed at this autumnís Grove Fuel Cell Symposium in London before going on permanent display at the Grampian Transport Museum.
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