Air Products and other project collaborators have opened a hydrogen fuelling station for transit buses in Santa Ana, California, which it is claimed is “the largest capacity hydrogen fuelling station for transit buses in the United States”.

Source: Air Products

Air Products’ SmartFuel® hydrogen fuelling technology and equipment brings advanced fast-fill technology to transit buses at Orange County Transportation Authority’s hydrogen fuelling station in Santa Ana, California

The other collaborators in the hydrogen fuelling project include: the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE); Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA); California Air Resources Board (CARB); South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD); New Flyer and Trillium.

The new fuelling station at OCTA’s bus depot is equipped with Air Products’ SmartFuel® hydrogen fuelling technology, design, and equipment.

OCTA’s current hydrogen fuel cell electric bus fleet is comprised of 10 buses, but the station is built for future growth and has capacity to fuel up to 50 buses, which corresponds to fuelling up to 1,500 kg of hydrogen in an eight-hour time period. The station can fuel transit buses with an average of 28 kg of hydrogen per bus in a time frame of six to 10 minutes per bus, while also providing back-to-back bus fuelling for up to 30 buses and simultaneous fuelling capability with multiple fuelling lanes.

“This station sets a new milestone for bus fuelling capacity and demonstrates other continuing innovations in hydrogen fuelling,” said Eric Guter, general manager, Americas Growth Platforms at Air Products.

“While we have designed and built hydrogen fuelling stations around the world for transit agencies, this station brings our advanced fast-fill technology to transit buses by taking advantage of our unique cryogenic compressors and specifically designed cooling system as well as our liquid hydrogen supply position.”

Air Products designed and jointly installed the hydrogen fueling station, supplied most of the major equipment, will substantially maintain the station at Santa Ana, and will supply the hydrogen for fueling the buses.

The major industrial gases company will deliver liquid hydrogen to the station, where it will be vaporised and compressed into a high-pressure gas using its proprietary cryogenic hydrogen compressors, before being dispensed with Air Products’ fuelling dispensers into the buses. Trillium was project manager, provided site preparation, some equipment, installation and first-line maintenance.