The world energy crisis, coupled with the pressing need to reduce air pollution, has placed important emphasis on developing new fuel sources for transportation systems. Hydrogen, with its almost unlimited supply potential and with its extraordinarily clean combustion properties, emerges as an operationally practical, economically feasible energy source. The Wankel engine was an ingenious invention by Felix Wankel in 1954; it was an engine of its kind, as it used rotary motion to produce power unlike a conventional IC engines. Fuel cells have come into prominence from the 1980s with the need for a more efficient and eco friendly energy source. Hydrogen has been widely used in wankel engines and fuel cells as a fuel. The processes by which energy is produced in the Wankel engine and the fuel cell are different, the Wankel engine uses a thermo dynamical process like combustion and the fuel cell uses electrochemical reactions, which do not involve any major transfer of heat, thus there arises a question, how two totally different concepts are fused?
• Low pollution
• Optimum efficiency
• Compact nature of the engine
• Low operating temperature using hydrogen engines
• High power density
• Low vibrations and noise
• Good pick up in the engine
• Increase safety measures
• Better operation in colder climates
The Hydro wankel cell works on the basic ideas of Wankel engine and fuel cells into account.
The Wankel engine design is governed by the following equations
Using coordinate geometry
X = ecos3α + Rcosα
Y = esin3α + Rsinα
e = eccentricity
R = rotor center to tip distance
These values help in determining the position of the reference apex and are vital in the design of the engine, as shown in the figures below, many changes have been made to the shell of the Wankel engine, and they are:
• Palladium bed located at the surface of the inside the Wankel engine.
• Compressed air inlet
• Pure hydrogen inlet
• Spark plugs are removed as the cycle is similar to a diesel engine cycle.
• Battery terminals are attached to the palladium bed to attain electrical output
Hydrogen has a low ignition temperature so the standard four stroke engine is prone to pre-detonation and backfiring through the intake ports. This is avoided when the hydrogen and air are injected through two different ports.
There are two processes which are undergone by the hydrogen:
In the first process, pure hydrogen is taken in the intake stroke, which is compressed onto a bed of palladium in the compression stroke. The palladium bed adsorbs the hydrogen forming an interstitial palladium hydride;
this complex compound is basically a mixture of palladium, hydrogen ions and free electrons (PdH, PdH0.5 and PdH0.25)