ARAI to establish a hydrogen cylinder testing facility at Greenfield Takwe near Pune

The new Takwe-Talegaon facility of ARAI will also be able to test futuristic designs and cue autonomous vehicles.

By Amit Vijay M calendar 16 May 2023 Views icon4868 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

As part of its roadmap to developing hydrogen testing infrastructure, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) plans to build the country's first hydrogen cylinder testing facility at the proposed 110-acre Takwe Facility near Talegon in Pune, Maharashtra.

High-ranking officials in the testing agency have confirmed that the Ministry of Heavy Industries has given the go-ahead for the testing. facility and adequate funding has been set aside for it.

"With almost all Indian original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) developing hydrogen IC engines and fuel cell vehicles for possible introduction in the next 3 to 4 years, testing of highly pressurised hydrogen cylinders up to 700 bar is critical," said an official spokesperson.

He also stated that the current test facility, which will take 18-24 months for completion, will assist the industry in making a faster transition to H2O and other cleaner technologies.

Dr. S. S. Thipse, Senior Deputy Director, HoD Engine Development Lab and Environment Research Lab, ARAI, added, "ARAI is gearing up for infrastructure upgrades for certification of hydrogen ICE engines and fuel cell vehicles." This will enable the vehicle certification process to ensure field safety and emission compliance."

The mobility research centre in Takwe, near Talegaon in the Pune district, will be the agency's fourth campus. ARAI also has a headquarters in Kothrud, a homologation and technology centre in Chakan, and a forging industry division in Chakan.

Aside from the hydrogen testing centre, the greenfield mobility research centre will focus on autonomous vehicle development and testing, cylinder testing, and firefighting equipment testing facilities, for which ARAI has already taken responsibility. "We have received all necessary permissions, including environmental clearance from the state and centre," the spokesperson added. 

The testing agency is collaborating closely with the automotive industry to provide development support for hydrogen vehicles through component and engine testing, R&D projects, and consultancy.

Sharing further details on the country's hydrogen roadmap, Thipse said hydrogen usage in transportation is possible by three means: Hydrogen IC Engines, Hydrogen Fuel Cells, and Hydrogen-CNG Blends.

"All three technologies are included in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, and MoRTH has published regulations for them." In addition, the BIS has published national standards for fuel quality, component requirements, and system safety. MHI has also listed hydrogen injectors and other components for PLI funding. "ARAI has played an important role in assisting the Government of India in developing regulations and standards for hydrogen mobility in India," said the ARAI Senior Deputy Director. 

The new Takwe-Talegaon facility of ARAI will also be able to test futuristic designs and cue autonomous vehicles.  

The Takwe mobility centre will also serve as a certification facility for construction and mining equipment, and the company is exploring hydrogen-powered applications for its excavators and heavy construction equipment, the spokesperson further informed Autocar Professional.


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