H2 and Fuel Cell Technology A fuel cell uses hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity by an electro-chemical process. A single fuel cell consists of an electrolyte sandwiched between an anode and a cathode. There are different types of fuel cells, the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells operate in the following way: Hydrogen is fed to the anode where a catalyst separates the negatively-charged electrons in the hydrogen from the positively-charged protons Protons move through the membrane to the cathode The electrons from the anode side of the cells cannot pass through the membrane to the positively-charged cathode. They travel via an electrical circuit to reach the other side of the cell. This process produces the electrical current. At the cathode, oxygen from the air combines with electrons and protons to produce water and heat. To generate enough power to drive the bus, the many individual fuel cells are connected to each other and built up into “stacks”.
27 new hydrogen stations opened worldwide in 2012 Twenty-seven new hydrogen refuelling stations opened worldwide in 2012, bringing the total number of hydrogen refuelling stations in operation to 208 as of March 2013. This is the result of the fifth annual assessment by H2stations.org, a website of Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LBST) and TÜV SÜD. In 2012, eight stations have opened in North America, three in Asia and 16 in Europe, five of which are in Germany. The latter are owned by the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) Project and are located in Hamburg, Berlin and Duesseldorf. Together with the refuelling station opened in Stuttgart in March 2013, this brings the number of hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany up to 33. Austria’s third hydrogen refuelling station was opened last year, while Turkey opened its first hydrogen refuelling station. In total, 80 hydrogen refuelling stations are currently operating in Europe, 76 in North America, three in South America and 49 in Asia. In addition, many countries are planning to build new stations. One new country is Slovenia, where specific plans for the construction of two hydrogen stations were published in 2012. The website H2stations.org also records planned hydrogen refuelling stations. At present, 104 refuelling stations are listed worldwide (43 in North America, seven in Asia and 54 [...]
Hydrogen Refuelling The volumetric energy density of hydrogen gas under ambient conditions is much lower than that of gasoline or diesel (cf. section 1.2). Hydrogen is therefore compressed in order to reduce the size of the filling station storage, to keep space requirements on board the vehicle at a reasonable level, and to ensure enough range for daily bus operation. This is not entirely new as it also applies to natural gas, but the volumetric energy density of hydrogen compared to methane – the most important constituent of natural gas – is more than three times lower. One solution for compensating this disadvantage is to move to higher onboard gas pressures, from 200 bar (standard technology for mobile applications so far, both hydrogen and natural gas) to 350 bar, and most likely 700 bar in the future. Previous hydrogen bus demonstration project, HyFLEET:CUTE, was the first major trial which followed this 350 bar concept, requiring a technology step for the refuelling infrastructure. The main components of a filling station for compressed gaseous hydrogen (CGH2) storage and dispensing are compressor (one or more), storage vessels and dispenser with filling nozzle. Liquid hydrogen (LH2) performs about as well as natural gas at 200 bar [...]