Arizona’s first hydrogen powered bus is on the move!
The ECObus is a mobile classroom powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology and has zero emissions.It is soon to be powered by ECOtality’s innovative hydrogen technology.
Arizona Showcases Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus
Arizona’s first hydrogen powered bus is on the move in Arizona. The ECObus is powered by a fuel cell that runs on pure hydrogen. ECOtality has teamed up with Arizona Public Service (APS) company to bring the ECObus to the state of Arizona with the objective of educating the public on the use of renewable energies.
Beginning its excursion in Phoenix, Arizona, this zero-emissions bus showcases the capabilities of hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Fuel Cell Technology is Good for the Environment
When hydrogen is used in a fuel cell, it produces electricity without any harmful emissions. In fact, all that comes out of the tailpipe is a small amount of water vapor. This is in sharp contrast to the conventional vehicles we drive and ride-in today. Current conventional vehicles are fueled by petroleum and powered by internal combustion engines, contributing significantly to greenhouse gases and other noxious substances that are emitted into our atmosphere daily.
As such, hydrogen is an ideal renewable energy source, answering today’s complex energy problems with its ability to power cars, trucks, homes and businesses with no pollution or greenhouse gases.
Transportation of the Future
The bus uses three HyPM® 65 Fuel Cell Power Modules capable of providing a total of 180 kilowatts (kW) of power. A 720-volt bank of ultra-capacitors provides the remaining power needed to reach the peak power requirements of 350 kW.
While the dominant power source comes from fuel cells, the bus’ efficient, hybrid-power construction represents an attractive solution for future fuel cell powered buses. This is mainly because a hybrid configuration enables the system to readily provide instantaneous full power, with reduced capital cost and increased fuel efficiency. The anticipated cost reduction is seen as a pathway that could speed up the commercialization of fuel cell technology.
ECOtality Leads the Way
A renewable energy development company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, ECOtality teamed up with APS to bring this revolutionary technology to Arizona. Hydrogenics Corporation coordinated the overall conversion of the bus and installed three fuel cell modules that make up the bus propulsions power system.
What is a Fuel Cell and How Does it Work?
A fuel cell is an advanced, energy-conversion technology that produces electricity from hydrogen fuel. Like a conventional battery, a fuel cell has an anode and a cathode, and produces direct current (DC) electricity. Also, similar to a conventional battery, a fuel cell converts chemical energy – in this case, hydrogen – into electrical energy to power motors of a vehicle.
Unlike a conventional battery, a fuel cell uses a continuous flow of hydrogen fuel from storage tanks. Therefore, theoretically, a fuel cell could produce electricity indefinitely, as long as hydrogen is being supplied. As efficient as it is, some of the chemical energy of the hydrogen fuel is lost as heat. Still, when compared to a conventional internal combustion engine, a fuel cell is about twice as efficient – a huge improvement over existing technology.
|ECObus Power Supply Specifications|
|Power Train Configuration||Siemens 170kW dual drive motor unit combined with a Flender 550Nm gearbox3|
|Fuel Cell Power Module||x HyPM® 65|
|Continuous Net Rated Power||180kW|
|Peak Power||350kW (via 9 Farad @ 720V Ultracapacitor)|
|Hydrogen Storage||45 kg @ 350bar|
|ECObus Vehicle Specifications|
|Bus Configuration||New Flyer Invero Low Floor Bus|
|Seating Capacity||31 seats|
|Dimensions||L = 12.5m (41ft) x W = 2.6m (8.5ft) x H = 3.8m (12.5ft)|
|Range||4h @ full power or 6-8h average (estimated)|
90km/h or 55mph (estimated