Air Products has helped the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) launch a new era of public transportation in northeast Ohio after supplying several technologies for its new hydrogen (H2) fuelling station.

The Tier One player installed a dispensing unit, a 9,000 gallon H2 tank and a range of H2 compression and storage technologies at SARTA’s new fuelling station. In addition, Air Products will deliver liquid H2 to the site from its production facility in Ontario, Canada.

The 350 bar H2 station has been designed with future expansion in mind, with SARTA aiming to begin fuelling buses next month and planning to grow its fleet to a total of 10 buses over the next two years.

Bus fuel cell hydrogen

Once completed, the facility will service the fleet of seven zero-emission, fuel cell-powered buses which will commence operations on SARTA routes later this year.

SARTA’s Executive Director Kirt Conrad signified, “Transit systems, businesses and private citizens will begin to utilise fuel cell-powered vehicles. H2 is a practical, safe, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional fuels, and we believe our innovative programme will make Stark County and Ohio the focal point of what will undoubtedly be a growing and dynamic industry.”

According to Conrad, construction of the $1.6m facility, which is being funded by the Ohio Department of Transportation, marks the first visible step in the authority’s concerted effort to “use the energy of tomorrow to fuel SARTA today.”

Environmental consciousness

Brian O’Neil, Business Development Manager, Hydrogen Energy Systems, at Air Products, added, “We commend SARTA for its environmental consciousness and ongoing efforts to bring zero-emission transportation to Canton and the state of Ohio. Air Products is excited to continue its successful involvement and leadership position in H2 fuelling for mass transit.”

Since fuelling its first H2 fuel cell bus back in 1997, Air Products’ technology is now used in over a million H2 fills each year.

According to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), every fuel cell-powered bus put into service in the US could reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by 100 tonnes annually, eliminating the need for 9,000 gallons of fuel every year over the life of the vehicle. The US Department of Transportation estimates that for buses running on diesel fuel, that translates into a saving of more than $37,000 per year, per vehicle.