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Fuel Cells Bulletin
Ballard prototype next-gen bus modules to begin Hamburg trial
he first two buses powered by the prototype FCvelocity®-HD7 fuel cell power module from Canadian-based Ballard Power Systems, have been presented to Hamburger Hochbahn, the transit operator for the German city of Hamburg, as part of an operational trial. The buses are based on a new articulated electric bus platform designed by Polish busbuilder Solaris Bus & Coach, incorporating Ballard hydrogen PEM fuel cell modules as range-extenders in combination with batteries. Ballard announced the deal to provide these next-generation modules to Solaris a year ago [FCB, February 2014, p2]. The two Solaris buses are part of a trial and evaluation of alternative drive technologies being undertaken by the City of Hamburg. Hamburger Hochbahn will deploy buses utilising alternative drive technologies along a single route, to compare the performance of each technology under the same operating conditions. Two different fuel cell hybrid bus designs – including the Solaris bus – as well as a Volvo plug-in hybrid bus platform, will be trialed beginning this month. The buses participating in the trial were unveiled in mid-December at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. The City of Hamburg has set a goal of eliminating the purchase of diesel buses by 2020; this trial is fully funded by the federal government, confirming the commitment to invest in clean transportation alternatives. Ballard’s current-generation FCvelocity-HD6 fuel cell power module is delivering a high level of performance in European buses. Adding these two new articulated buses in Hamburg means that a total of 42 buses operating in Europe will be powered by Ballard fuel cell modules, representing about 80% of all European fuel cell buses. The next-generation FCvelocity-HD7 module features a reduced parts count (including fewer moving parts), an integrated air compressor and coolant pump, along with reduced parasitic load. This product will be commercially available in Q1 of 2015. Last summer Ballard received a purchase order from New Flyer Industries in Canada for the first FCvelocity-HD7 module for a North American bus manufacturer, scheduled for delivery by year-end [FCB, August 2014, p2].
Solaris was one of five major European bus manufacturers that recently signed a joint Letter of Understanding committing to the commercialisation and market introduction of fuel cell electric buses in urban public transport [FCB, December 2014, p3]. Ballard Power Systems, Burnaby, BC, Canada. Tel: +1 604 454 0900, www.ballard.com Solaris Bus & Coach: www.solarisbus.com
Taiwan shows fuel cell scooter, Malaysia builds its first vehicle
he National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Taiwan recently unveiled its first hydrogen fuel cell/hybrid electric scooter, called Pegasus One, which completed an initial 80 km (50 mile) journey. And Malaysia has launched its first indigenous hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, a golf buggy designed and produced by the Fuel Cell Institute at the National University of Malaysia (UKM). The Pegasus One scooter, developed by a research team led by Dr Wei-Hsiang Lai, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at NCKU in collaboration with local enterprises, completed a maiden round-trip drive of more than 80 km between the Alian District of Kaohsiung and the Hsinhua District of Tainan. The Pegasus One has been upgraded from the original electric scooter to the current hybrid powertrain, which combines a fuel cell with a lithium battery. Lai says that the overall vehicle structure has been revised, especially its power and monitoring system. Its 3 kW Ballard PEM fuel cell enhances its range by charging the battery. The scooter’s range is more than 160 km (100 miles), using hydrogen from two 6.8 litre high-pressure cylinders (up to 300 bar, 4350 psi) fabricated in carbon fibre reinforced plastic, which have received safety approval. Lai says that if the storage pressure can be raised to 700 bar, the scooter’s range could be extended to 300 km (185 miles). Meanwhile, the first hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle built in Malaysia has been launched at the National University of Malaysia (UKM). The golf buggy is powered by a hybrid PEM fuel cell–supercapacitor powertrain designed and produced by a team in the Fuel Cell Process System Engineering Group, led by Professor Wan Ramli Wan Daud, founding director and principal research fellow in the Fuel Cell Institute.
NEWS / EDITORIAL Professor Wan Ramli says that the buggy’s motor has a higher energy efficiency than conventional car engines, at 50% compared to 30%. It is small, easy to manufacture, and weighs only 25% of the weight of the replaced battery while using just 75% of the space. UKM was mandated by the Malaysian Education Ministry to lead the project to develop a zero-emission vehicle using indigenous fuel cells, with an RM7 million (US$2 million) grant over three years. Wan Ramli expects that a fuel cell car prototype will be built by 2016, with the cooperation of other Malaysian universities and automotive companies. Contact: Professor Wei-Hsiang Lai, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan. Tel: +886 6 275 7575 ext. 63694, Email: [email protected]
, Web: www.iaa.ncku.edu.tw/default.aspx?&culture=en-us Or contact: Professor Dr Abu Bakar Muhamad, Director – Fuel Cell Institute, National University of Malaysia UKM, Bangi Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: +60 3 8911 8030, Email: [email protected]
, Web: www.ukm.my/selfuel/en
Hyster-Yale Materials Handling acquires Nuvera Fuel Cells
n the US, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling – through its operating subsidiary NACCO Materials Handling Group (NMHG) – has acquired Nuvera Fuel Cells. Massachusetts-based Nuvera is a technology and product development company focused on PEM fuel cell stacks and related systems, and onsite hydrogen production and dispensing systems for clean energy solutions. Nuvera offers unique capabilities to integrate fuel cells with lift trucks based on its PowerEdge™ hybrid fuel cell power packs [FCB, March 2011, p3], and its PowerTap™ equipment provides small- and large-scale hydrogen fuel supply for fuel cell-powered industrial vehicles [FCB, October 2014, p8]. For several years Hyster-Yale has been evaluating and investing in a broad range of alternative power sources for its lift trucks. Following this acquisition, the company intends to commercialise Nuvera’s research and technology through the rapid integration of this fuel cell technology across large parts of its lift truck product range. The company expects to be able to offer its Hyster® and Yale® customers an integrated, factory-fitted fuel cell solution as well as associated hydrogen generation and delivery
capability. It will also offer aftermarket solutions designed to fit almost any electric powered lift truck brand in the market today. While Nuvera technologies have proven capabilities, the commercialisation of products that utilise these technologies remains in the development stage, and the business is expected to generate significant operating losses over the next two to three years. The acquisition was completed for a modest purchase price, with certain contingency payments to be paid to the selling shareholders based on future deployment of certain elements of the acquired technology. Hyster-Yale expects to expense up to $40–50 million over the next two to three years for additional R&D to commercialise the technology and reach breakeven. Hyster-Yale believes it is the first major lift truck company to commit to full deployment of fuel cell motive power and onsite hydrogen generation and supply solutions for the materials handling market. The Nuvera acquisition creates a unique capability to integrate fuel cells with lift trucks in a way which optimises the performance and energy efficiency of the combined system, in conjunction with the ability to provide full life-cycle maintenance, service and fueling requirements, to meet customers’ needs and offer a low overall cost of ownership. Nuvera Fuel Cells, Billerica, Massachusetts, USA. Tel: +1 617 245 7500, www.nuvera.com Nuvera Fuel Cells Europe, San Donato Milanese, Italy. Tel: +39 02 5161 6701. Hyster-Yale Materials Handling: www.hyster-yale.com
Positive results so far for Linde MH project at BMW in Leipzig
n Germany, Linde Material Handling (Linde MH) has reported positive interim conclusions regarding its H2IntraDrive intralogistics project for the BMW manufacturing plant in Leipzig, which a year ago took delivery of four tugger trains and five forklift trucks powered by fuel cell hybrid drivetrains [FCB, January 2014, p3]. Based on experience gained in the last few months, effective technical adaptations have already been made which improved truck reliability. This trend is confirmed by ongoing evaluations by the Institute for Materials Handling, Material Flow, Logistics (FML) at the Technical University of Munich, which is providing scientific support. The project participants were awarded a E2.9 million
lympic Games have been a mixed blessing for the hydrogen and fuel cell sector, so we hope that Tokyo benefits in the long term from its plans to significantly boost the rollout of fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen refueling for its hosting of the 2020 Summer Olympics [see page 1]. Tokyo plans to spend US$384 million on FCEV subsidies and hydrogen refueling stations in preparation for the 2020 Olympics. The city will build 35 hydrogen stations, with more than 80% of the construction costs subsidised by the Tokyo metropolitan government. It is also talking to Toyota and Honda about putting 6000 hydrogen cars on its roads by 2020. And looking even further ahead, Tokyo plans to have 100 000 FCEVs, 100 hydrogen buses, and 80 hydrogen stations by 2025. During the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, London used five fuel cell hybrid London taxis to transport visiting dignitaries and VIP guests. Hydrogen fueling was a problem, as the taxis initially had to be transported to Swindon for refueling, before a more convenient hydrogen station was opened at Heathrow Airport [FCB, August 2012, p7]. Unfortunately, prior planning restrictions meant that London’s fleet of five fuel cell hybrid buses had to be taken out of service for the duration of the Games, and security restrictions closed the existing hydrogen station close to the Olympic Park. The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada also provided an excellent opportunity to showcase its local fuel cell credentials. BC Transit operated 20 fuel cell buses, powered by modules supplied by Ballard Power Systems, along with a network of hydrogen stations [FCB, February 2010, p7]. However, four years later the bus demonstration project came to the end of its funding, and now the buses are parked at the Whistler Transit facility, awaiting their fate [FCB, June 2014, p2]. The 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China saw 20 fuel cell cars providing transportation services for VIPs, officials, and media staff. The cars were manufactured by the Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Company joint venture, and powered by fuel cell engines designed and developed in China. We haven’t heard much yet about the fuel cell aspirations of Rio de Janeiro, ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, but Brazil has an established fuel cell bus programme [FCB, February 2012, p3], so hopefully this will make more headlines nearer the time. But not all hosts have used the opportunity to highlight their indigenous fuel cell or hydrogen energy activities – there was no mention of these technologies at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, for example.
Fuel Cells Bulletin