Hydrogen, partly supplied by Linde North America, will fuel cell buses in the San Francisco Bay area of California.
Two Linde owned refuelling stations will supply the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit). The company has agreed to supply AC Transit with hydrogen fueling technology and the hydrogen for the new stations; the new facilities will be located at AC Transit’s Emeryville and Oakland premises.
Steve Eckhardt, Linde’s west coast head of Alternative Energy Business Development, commented, “The Linde refueling stations will be outfitted with the latest, most efficient technology and will deliver the fastest and most reliable hydrogen fueling capability in North America, resulting in no disruption to depot operation or the surrounding community.”
Jaimie Levin, Director of Alternative Fuels Policy at AC Transit, responded to the contract, “AC Transit is ready to take our commitment to renewable fuels to the next level. We are confident that Linde’s refueling technology will allow us to move toward our goal of having a commercial fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses. We expect this project to prove that hydrogen fuel cell buses can perform as well or better than diesel fueled buses, while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in excess of 40 percent.”
Linde North America, a subsidiary of The Linde Group, is one of the world’s largest hydrogen producers. Meanwhile, its new partner, AC Transit is the bus operator for 13 cities in the East Bay Area and trans-bay operator to San Francisco.
The hydrogen will be produced in stations using ionic compression, an advance which requires less maintenance and uses less electricity than conventional hydrogen fuelling stations. Eckhardt said, “Linde has used this technology successfully in stations located throughout Europe and is pleased to bring its benefits to North America. And when these buses and cars are on the road, they produce zero tailpipe emissions, which is a major advantage of using hydrogen as an alternative fuel.”
Speed is a further advantage of the new technology. Both ionic compression units are high-performance, fast-fill dispensing systems. The IC-50 ionic bus fueling system can fill a bus with 30kg of hydrogen in six minutes. Similarly, the MF-90 car fueling system can fill an automobile in three minutes for 300-400 miles of operation.
Continuing the eco-friendly theme, Linde’s refuelling station at AC Transit’s Emeryville site will use liquid hydrogen produced off-site as well as gaseous hydrogen produced from water by a modern electrolyser. The modern electrolyser, developed by Proton Energy Systems, will be powered by renewable energy credits generated by AC Transits’ new 575-Kilowatt solar installation at its central maintenance facility. The station will also be equipped to fuel hydrogen fuel cell cars made by auto manufacturers including Hyundai, Daimler, Toyota, GM and Honda.