Air Products has been awarded a contract with India’s University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) to build the country’s first solar powered renewable hydrogen fuelling station.

The company’s hydrogen fuelling technology and infrastructure will be part of a mass public transit bus fuelling and vehicle demonstration programme administered by UPES.

The station, which will generate hydrogen from solar energy via an electrolyser and be located at the Solar Energy Centre near Delhi, is scheduled to be on-stream in July 2013.

“The hydrogen generated at this station will be 100% renewable and illustrates both India’s commitment to developing greener alternate energy sources and Air Products’ hydrogen fuelling capabilities. The UPES project will act as a springboard for many more opportunities in the automotive and telecommunication sectors in India,” said Nigel Gibson, Managing Director at Air Products India.

“Our customers are recognising the capabilities of our local team in dealing with the complexities of the regulatory authorities to validate hydrogen as a fuel, and to provide the support they need to successfully execute these projects.”

Stepping stone

Once complete, the UPES project will mark the third Air Products hydrogen fuelling station 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.

Air Products was also a key player in the opening of India’s first hydrogen fuelling station several years ago at a research and development centre in Faridabad, south of New Delhi.

UPES is executing the project in collaboration with Indian Oil and it is entirely funded by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of the Government of India. The project is cited as a significant stepping stone for the country.

“Although this is a demonstration project, this will be a major stepping stone for India to move towards the hydrogen economy,” said Dr. Niranjan Raje, former director of Indian Oil and the Principle Investigator for this project.