About Me

My photo
Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Brazil launches first fuel cell bus, with hydrogen station

The Brazilian hydrogen-fueled bus project reached a major milestone recently in São Paulo, with the unveiling of the country's first fuel cell bus, as well as its first service station capable of supplying hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

The Brazilian hydrogen bus initiative is being deployed by a consortium formed by Petrobras Distribuidora, AES Eletropaulo, Ballard Power Systems, EPRI International, Hydrogenics, Marcopolo, NuCellSys, and Tuttotrasporti. The project was created in partnership with the Brazilian ministry of mines & energy, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the FINEP investment program of Brazil's science & technology ministry.

The project involves the acquisition, operation and maintenance of up to five fuel cell/battery hybrid buses; the fueling station, which will produce hydrogen by electrolysis; and the monitoring and performance verification of these vehicles.

The bus uses a hybrid power system that combines hydrogen fuel cells and batteries. This strategy can increase fuel economy, because the batteries are recharged by the fuel cell system while the vehicle is stopped, and through regeneration of braking energy. The power required is obtained by using two fuel cell systems in parallel, each rated at 64 kW, and which significantly reduces the bus production costs.

The station can generate up to 120 kg of hydrogen per day at a pressure of 440 bar (6400 psi), enough to supply up to three buses for a range of 300 km (190 miles). In the first stage, it will store enough hydrogen to fuel one bus, but when more vehicles go into operation, this capacity will be boosted.

Ref: Fuel Cells Bulletin, Vol. 2009, Iss. 9, Sept 2009, p2