Hydrogen and with 6 inverted cylinders: how is Ferrari’s profane engine to face the future

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THE new rules on emission limits of cars in different regions of the world have accelerated the progress of electric mobility. And this paradigm shift affects all types of producers, from the largest and most massive ones to the smallest and most exclusive ones.

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There are several cities that already have low-emission zones and others that have announced a total ban on vehicles that generate polluting gases in their streets and avenues.

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But electricity is not the only option. Although everything indicates that it will be the dominant one, at least in the near future, many companies are exploring alternatives, especially those in which the combustion engine has a transcendental role in the vehicle, such as sports car manufacturers. This is how the use of synthetic fuels appeared.

That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising to like a company Ferrari, with all that it means in the automotive sector, is developing a new propulsion system that prepares it for the coming years. But the project of the Maranello house appears as innovative as it is revolutionary.

Ferrari just patented it an inverted 6-cylinder in-line engine (yes, upside down), doubly supercharged and powered by hydrogen. Who knows if Don Enzo I would call it genius or sacrilege.

Reduced weight and engine noise

Patent diagram of Ferrari’s inverted hydrogen engine.

The main difference between using hydrogen as a fuel versus an engine that uses gasoline is that instead of toxic NOx gases, the engines run on hydrogen they produce water as the main product of their combustion cycleAlthough it is true that due to the heat produced by the engine, harmful NOx emissions are still produced, these are much lower than those of a petrol engine.

At the moment the Ferrari patents have been filed in the European Union and in the United States, with the particularity that they are all attributed to a single inventor, Fabrizio Favaretto, who has worked at Ferrari for 24 years and currently holds the title of “Manager of Vehicle and Powertrain Architecture Innovation”.

The discovery has been made Automatic driving e It seems like a desecration comes from a brand proud of the history of its naturally aspirated V12 engines. But applications don’t lie and Ferrari SPA has filed patents for this very reason.

Ferrari hydrogen engine patented in Europe and the United States.Ferrari hydrogen engine patented in Europe and the United States.

The first thing to say is that unlike many other manufacturers, who see hydrogen as an option to generate electricity through a fuel cell, the Italian brand proposes the use of this gas to be used inside a chamber of combustion, just like Toyota.

But the Ferrari patents show something much more complex. If the presentations are to be believed, the engine looks awfully intricate. For starters, the diagrams show that Ferrari’s traditional 6, 8 or 12-cylinder V-shaped options have been left aside for an inline 6-cylinder.

The choice of This setup is what gives you room to place the hydrogen tanks on each side. Both the engine and transmission would retain the central location that most Ferrari models have today.

Ferrari currently uses a hybrid system with a V6 engine in its 296 model.Ferrari currently uses a hybrid system with a V6 engine in its 296 model.

But the great peculiarity of these patents is the position in which the engine block is located, since it is exactly the opposite of what we see today: the crankshaft points towards the sky and the cylinder head towards the floor.

The system is powered by a series of assists. First of all there is the supercharger, coupled to two intercoolers. Then there are two turbos. In turn, there is an electric generator, which could be some kind of 48-volt hybrid system.

Even if for now it is only a patent, this design from the Italian brand solves two inconveniences that the transition to electricity poses for many. The first and most important concerns this solution we would do without large and heavy batteries which add kilos to a vehicle and which in the case of a sports car is essential information.

And the second is more sensorial and passionate but no less important in a model of this type and has to do with noise: when hydrogen is used as a gas for burning, the engine noise would still be.

Source: Clarin

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