Heat Storage - The Hydride Cold Start Heater

Ergenics has developed a cold start rapid heater that simplifies the cold start heating function for automobile catalytic converters. Using the energy storage capabilities of metal hydride alloys, the Hydride Cold Start Heater (CSH) has significant advantages over other emission reduction technologies. This invention was a finalist in the 1996 National Medal Of Technology Award sponsored by Discover Magazine which is the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States of America for technological innovation.


•   Achieves Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle performance
•   Electrical power is not required
•   Heater regeneration is passive and automatic
•   Low impact on existing vehicle design
•   Low cost

cold start heater

How it Works:

The Hydride CSH consists of a closed system in which hydrogen serves as an energy carrier between two metal hydride beds.

Hydrogen is safely stored as a solid metal in the Source Bed. When the car is started, the solenoid actuation valve opens and hydrogen flows to the Heater Bed, which is placed in the exhaust pipe at a location immediately upstream of the catalytic converter. The Heater Bed temperature increases to 400oC in less than 5 seconds which heats the exhaust gas to the converter light off temperature. Engine emissions are converted into non-harmful water vapor and carbon dioxide.

csh flow diagram

The solenoid valve closes about 20 seconds after the car is started. While the engine continues to run, the heat of the exhaust drives the hydrogen back to the Source Bed through a check (one way) valve and the hydride Cold Start Heater is ready for the next engine start-up.