The FH Upper Austria is a driving research partner for the Upper Austrian automotive industry and researches on the Wels campus on more efficient, safer, more user-friendly and socially and environmentally compatible mobility of people and goods.
Currently, students of Applied Energy Technology, Automation Technology and Lightweight Construction & Composite Materials have developed and tested a recumbent bike with a hydrogen fuel cell drive together with researchers and technicians from the energy technology department. The prototype is fully roadworthy.
The aim of the research group is to increase the energy efficiency of this drive system. With optimal simulation and design of the system, the most efficient drive can be calculated for different areas of application – from recumbent bikes to trucks. “The automotive and mobility sectors are crucial for Upper Austria as a location. With topics such as drive concepts, vehicles, lightweight construction and innovative composite materials, Upper Austria is playing a pioneering role in this area. I congratulate the Wels University of Applied Sciences students on this successful development. We hope that they will be retained in automotive research and will develop further innovative automotive solutions in and for Upper Austria in the future, ”says Regional Councilor for Economic and Research Markus Achleitner.
“As the strongest research university in Austria, the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences is an important driver of innovation for the location. Here, future-oriented solutions are researched in theory and practice and these ‘scientific PS’ are put on the road together with local companies. That is the case with mobility both a turbo for the business location as well as an absolute gain for the environment and climate ”, emphasizes the state economic and research councilor Achleitner.
“The Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences is a driving research partner for the Upper Austrian automotive industry. In the Research Center of Excellence Automotive | Mobility, the FH Upper Austria pursues an interdisciplinary and holistic mobility approach, which aims to achieve more efficient, safer, more user-friendly and socially and environmentally compatible mobility of people and goods. The subject areas of lightweight construction and lightweight materials, new drive technologies and connected mobility are intensively researched here, ”says FH Upper Austria managing director Dr. Gerald Reisinger.
Enormous future potential
“The heart of our drive concept is a hydrogen-based fuel cell that drives an electric motor. A small accumulator serves as buffer storage to cover peak loads and to be able to store recovered energy. This system has enormous potential for the future, as this drive does not produce any harmful exhaust gases, ”explains student Alexander Nagl, who is headed by FH-Prof. DI Rudolf Kraft was supervised. Some applied energy technology students wrote their bachelor thesis on this drive system. Lightweight construction students have worked on the development of lightweight body components.
Environmentally friendly motor vehicle
“This project is intended to show what the entire concept, from the production of hydrogen, to refueling a vehicle, to driving comfort, can look like. At the moment it is certainly one of the most environmentally friendly vehicle variants, if you look at the entire vehicle in terms of CO2 balance and environmental compatibility, ”emphasizes the head of the department, FH-Prof. DI Dr. Gernot Grabmair.
Hydrogen produced at the FH
The hydrogen fuel cell drive is emission-free during operation. The hydrogen for the drive can be produced at the FH Upper Austria in Wels with an electrolyser and the electricity comes from its own photovoltaic system. The generation is then absolutely environmentally friendly.
Further optimize drive systems with simulation
“Hydrogen-powered drive systems have not yet been sufficiently developed and researched. We build up know-how in this area and pass it on directly to our students. Not just theoretically – the systems are also built in real life and thus implemented in practice.
Source: University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
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