NewBusFuel is an ongoing study funded by Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking with the goal of resolving the knowledge gap for establishment of large-scale hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for fuel cell buses – silent electric buses with long driving range and with zero local emissions. The study that commenced in summer 2015 has assessed the central technology- and engineering solutions required for the refuelling of a large number of hydrogen fuel cell buses at a single bus depot, which is under way to evolve into fleet development in the coming years. Large
scale bus depot refuelling imposes significant new challenges which have not yet been tackled by the hydrogen refuelling sector:

  • Scale – throughputs in excess of 2,000kg/day (compared to 100kg/day for current passenger car stations)
  • Close to 100% available supply for the public transport networks which will rely on hydrogen
  • Short refuelling window – buses will be refuelled in a short overnight window, leading to rapid hydrogen throughput
  • Footprint – the refuelling units needs to be reduced to fit within busy urban bus depots
  • Volume of hydrogen storage – which can exceed 10 tonnes per depot and leads to new regulatory and safety constraints or alternative supply and backup concepts to minimize storage
    effort on site
  • New business concepts leading to competitive fuel prices

A large and pan-European consortium have developed solutions to these challenges. The consortium involves 10 of Europe’s leading technology providers involved in hydrogen production and refuelling. These partners have worked with 12 bus operators in Europe, each of whom have demonstrated political support for the deployment of hydrogen bus fleets.
In each location engineering studies have been produced, by collaborative design teams involving bus operators and industrial HRS experts, each defining the optimal design in terms of regulatory boundary conditions, available space and economics, hydrogen supply route, commercial arrangements and the practicalities for a hydrogen station capable of providing fuel to a fleet of fuel cell buses (40-260 buses).
Public reports are in preparation based on an analysis across the studies, with an aim to provide design guidelines to bus operators considering deploying hydrogen buses, as well as to demonstrate the range of depot fuelling solutions which exist (and their economics) to a wider audience.

The full press release is available here and below.

Source: New Bus Fuel projects