Future Vehicle Magazine Feature Claytex – FPC2024

Managing Editor of Future Vehicle magazine, Steve Welch, interviewed Alessandro Picarelli, Engineering Director, and Theodor Ensbury, Senior Project Engineer, from Claytex prior to the Future Propulsion Conference 2024.

Power and potential

Hydrogen fuel cells are widely considered a more suitable power source than batteries for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), but engineers face significant challenges in designing, testing, and optimising these systems. Simulation specialist Claytex has built a high-fidelity and scalable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric (FCEV) bus model that combines a fuel cell stack model with physical air and hydrogen supply models to demonstrate the possibilities for the technology.

Future Vehicle Magazine - FPC2024 Show Issue - Claytex - Power and potential

Future Vehicle Magazine – FPC2024 Show Issue

The internally funded project showcases the capabilities of the Dymola software and for the first time provides engineers with a validated digital twin they can use to test hydrogen fuel cell systems. Interest and financing for new hydrogen fuel cell technology is growing, said Theodor Ensbury, a Senior Project Engineer at Claytex. “You’ve got investment from the US government, investment from the EU and investment from the UK as well as Japan.” Research and development funding is being used to accelerate development as it becomes clear that battery powered vehicles aren’t a suitable solution for heavy vehicles like trucks and buses. As the pressure to decarbonise increases, we’ll see more and more innovation, said Ensbury. “It’s going to be a market which will expand rapidly – and customers will want a simulation solution.”

Claytex has unrivalled experience in automotive and motorsports modelling, including ADAS development and testing, powertrain design, and thermal management, but – until recently – had a gap in hydrogen fuel cell simulation experience. Developing the simulation model was a technical exercise conceived to ensure engineers at Claytex were confident with the technology and had an off-the-shelf simulation solution they could use if a customer approached them. Launched as part of the 2022.1 release of the Vehicle Demos library, the simulation integrates models from Dymola’s Hydrogen Library with VeSyMA vehicle models to create a high-fidelity overall system model. The team incorporated physical air and hydrogen fuel supply systems with an electrochemical fuel cell model. The virtual vehicle has a separate cooling and electrical system, completing the ancillary arrangement. Claytex deployed a physics-based HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and cabin thermal models from Til Suite by TLK to simulate real-world applications.

Read the full article here: Power and potential

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