This Go-Kart Is Powered By A Tiny 2kg Rotary Hydrogen Engine

LiquidPiston has adapted its rotary engine to run on hydrogen, and has fitted it to the back of a go-kart. With slightly mixed results
This Go-Kart Is Powered By A Tiny 2kg Rotary Hydrogen Engine

Electric go-karts already exist, but now one company has created a complex-looking hydrogen-powered kart using a rotary hybrid engine. LiquidPiston has got its X-Engine to run on hydrogen, so the kart expells nothing but water.

The X-Engine is said to be a next-generation rotary engine, igniting on all three points of the triangle - a Wankel engine like you’d find in a Mazda RX-8 only ignites on one side. It weighs just 2kg, whereas a petrol-powered go-kart typically has an engine weighing nine times that.

This Go-Kart Is Powered By A Tiny 2kg Rotary Hydrogen Engine

The company is looking to target a range of sectors including aviation and automotive, where there are clear benefits to having a lighter power source. That won’t be for a little while yet, but the company’s CEO, Alec Shkolnik, has suggested the hydrogen-powered engine could get its power from the sun or wind, creating a fully zero-emission vehicle.

New electric cars tend to be much heavier than petrol ones, as battery packs weigh a couple of hundred kilos by themselves. As you probably know, lightness helps acceleration, braking, cornering and wear-and-tear on parts.

This Go-Kart Is Powered By A Tiny 2kg Rotary Hydrogen Engine

Hydrogen is merely the latest fuel to power this X-Engine; it’s previously run on petrol, diesel, propane, kerosene and jet fuel.

Running like this, the go-kart has regenerative braking, so the battery recharges when you take your foot off the accelerator and you’ll be able to longer between refuelling. What we’re not sure of, though, is whether every kart will have to be on wet tyres, as water comes out of the exhaust pipe rather than vapour. Surely it’d end up like something out of Mario Kart after two laps…

Remote video URL

LiquidPiston showed its new hydrogen go-kart on the Warped Perception YouTube channel, where we get to see our first glimpse of it moving under its own power. And the result is… slow. The company may only be doing initial testing, but we would have expected a full-power run to highlight the capability of this setup. If that’s as fast as it goes, traditional karts won’t lose any sleep and you won’t be seeing the next Lewis Hamilton in a hydrogen rotary-engined go kart.

What would you want to see a tiny engine like this in? Tell us in the comments.


V-Tech and EcoBoost kicked in yo

This would make a nice gasoline/diesel powered range extender for short range EVs or big trucks/SUVs. Most daily driving is under a 70 miles, which can be covered by a decent battery and the range extender can be used for roadtrips. Of course, future battery tech and infrastructure will make this obselete, but it will offer a nice stopgap.

Unfortunately, current hydrogen storage technology has poor energy density, so I dont see it being used primarily as a hydrogen ICE.

06/18/2021 - 18:51 |
2 | 0
Myrmeko (#CTSquad)

I wonder if there would ever be a hydrogen rotary car.
The next big step in the automotive industry clearly is to change everything ICE to hydrogen-based gaseous and liquid fuels.
Like, it’s the logical next step. It’s extremely eco-friendly and it’s renewable. The liquid ones can also be used on literally anything, becasue they act just like regular fuels.

06/19/2021 - 14:19 |
4 | 0


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