India’s first solar-powered renewable fuelling station, supplied by Air Products, was inaugurated today.

An event was held to mark the occasion with chief guest Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy in conjunction with Shri Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, in attendance.

Part of a mass public transport bus fuelling and vehicle demonstration programme, the SmartFuel® station generates 100% renewable hydrogen from solar energy via an electrolyser.

It is located at the Solar Energy Centre near Delhi and part of a project managed by the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE).

The project was also implemented by India’s University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) and funded by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of the Government of India.

“As a member of industry, Air Products’ is proud to be involved in a programme that has received such crucial validation and support from public sector, educational institute and the regulatory authorities,” commented Ravi Subramanian, Business Development Manager-Asia, HES.

“This project is an important, progressive step towards unlocking the potential of hydrogen as sustainable transportation fuel and alternative energy source not just for India but the rest of the world.”

UPES is executing this project and it is entirely funded by MNRE. “Although this is a demonstration project, this will be a major stepping stone for India to move towards the hydrogen economy,” says Dr. Niranjan Raje, former director of Indian Oil and the Principle Investigator for this project.

With the addition of this SmartFuel® station, Air Products now has three hydrogen fuelling stations operating in India. Air Products India installed, and in January 2012 commissioned, a hydrogen fuelling dispenser in Pragati Maiden, Delhi to serve a fleet of hydrogen powered auto rickshaws.

The three-wheeled hydrogen-powered fleet transports visitors at the Pragati Maidan, where many large public exhibitions are held. Air Products was also a key player in the opening of India’s first hydrogen/HCNG fuelling station several years ago at a research and development center in Faridabad, south of New Delhi.

Worldwide, Air Products is the leading supplier of hydrogen to refineries to assist in producing cleaner burning transportation fuels, has vast experience in the hydrogen fuelling industry. In fact, several sites today for certain hydrogen fueling applications are fuelling at rates of over 75,000 refills per year. Use of the company’s fuelling technology is increasing and is over 1,000,000 hydrogen fills per year. The company has been involved in over 180 hydrogen fuelling projects worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, cell towers, material handling equipment, and even submarines have been fueled with trend-setting Air Products technologies.

Details on Air Products’ hydrogen fueling station technologies can be viewed at www.airproducts.com/h2energy