Winter carbon emissions could be reduced thanks to an EU-funded project that has developed snowmobiles and associated infrastructure that use green hydrogen.
The HySnow project, funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Climate and Energy Fund, aims to create a “zero-emission energy cycle in Alpine tourism regions”.
HySnow has demonstrated the feasibility of an entire system, from solar installations for generating clean electricity, to hydrogen production infrastructure, including a snowmobile refuelling system, to vehicle prototypes themselves.
The system has been installed and tested under real operating conditions at the Hinterstoder-Wurzeralm ski resort with findings and results presented during the International Ski Federation Alpine Ski World Cup 2020.
Benefits of hydrogen powered snowmobiles include reduced emissions, and even zero-emissions if clean power is used to produce the gas, as well as reduced noise and pollution levels.
In the project a 34.5kW photovoltaic system was able to produce renewable electricity that was then directly fed into an electrolyser module with a compressor to produce hydrogen.
BRP-Rotax is leading HySnow, which ends next year.
Other consortium partners include HyCentA Research, the Institute of Electrical Measurement and Measurement Signal Processing (EMT) at Technical University Graz, Elring Klinger, ECuSoL, Hinterstoder-Wurzeralm Bergbahnen and power electronics company Fronius, which supplied HySnow with components for the refueling system infrastructure and inverters.