Kenworth link to Hydrogen Transition Centre

New Deakin University facility to open in Warrnambool

Kenworth link to Hydrogen Transition Centre
In front of a Kenworth prime mover are Deakin Head of Campus Warrnambool Alistair Mccosh, with federal education minister Dan Tehan and Deakin Energy director Dr Adrian Panow


A new Deakin University research centre in the south-eastern Victorian town of Warrnambool is aiming to become a national leader in hydrogen power – not least for trucks.

With much expert opinion around that hydrogen fuel cells will be the best placed emissionless long-haul trucking power source for Australia, the move to create the university’s Hydrogen Transition Centre (HTC) appears promising given its potential.

The Hydrogen Transition Centre is to be the first step in establishing a $20 million HyceL@Warrnambool research and industry testing site.

"The centre will partner with industry to apply Deakin University's world-leading capabilities to solve one of our toughest transport issues: how to fuel the world's trucking industries in a low carbon future," Deakin vice-chancellor professor Iain Martin says.

"Freight trucking continues to grow here and overseas, and trucks are driving further, with heavier loads; all big challenges.

"The centre confirms Deakin's commitment to the Warrnambool campus and the broader region, and when the HyceL@Warrnambool project is fully established it will create up to 200 full-time jobs."

Read how Kenworth and Toyota have gone with US fuel cell propulsion, here

An Australian first, the HTC is funded by $2 million in federal government research funding, announced today in Warrnambool campus by federal education minister Dan Tehan.

"The federal government investment will see our researchers partner with Australia's leading truck manufacturer, Kenworth, as well as with industry leaders in hydrogen fuel-cells, electric vehicles and gas distribution," Martin says.

Hydrogen fuel-cells create electricity from hydrogen and oxygen - producing only heat and water as a by-product.

According to the university, the centre will test how fuel-cells can work together with electric vehicle technologies. It will mean an electric truck can create power while driving, avoiding the need for frequent stops and battery charging infrastructure.

"If successful, the enhanced technologies could be used by Kenworth trucks made here in Australia, as well as those made internationally by Kenworth’s parent company, Paccar – a US Fortune 500 company," Martin says.

"The technologies can also be applied to other heavy vehicles, such as buses, including those operated by Warrnambool Bus Lines."

In addition to truck technology, the centre will also test hydrogen safety and distribution, including how natural gas pipes can safely transport hydrogen in the future.

Long-term, the centre is also expected to support the region to become a producer of so-called "green" hydrogen, an exportable commodity, made by using renewable electricity to split hydrogen and oxygen from water to create a new mode of energy storage.


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