Fuel Cell Drives Revolutionary New Bus
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By Richard Morgan
Director of Communications, UTC Power
The positive environmental impact of emission-free bus transportation would be considerable. While buses and heavy-duty commercial vehicles represent just 8 percent of the nation's vehicle miles traveled, they produce more than 45 percent of U.S. on-road vehicles' NOx emissions and almost 70 percent of particulate matter emissions. Through a visionary partnership, UTC Power in Connecticut, California-based AC Transit, SunLine Transit and ISE Corporation, and VanHool in Belgium, are working to revolutionize the public transportation sector with hydrogen-fueled hybrid-electric fuel cell buses. The end result is a zero-emissions, super-efficient and quiet bus.
Zero. Zip. Nada. No matter how you say it, the VanHool A330FC Hybrid-Electric Fuel Cell Bus has no NOx, no particulate nor any other harmful emissions - contributing to a cleaner future.
Fuel cell power systems are inherently more efficient than traditional technologies. A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce electricity, heat and water. Since the fuel is converted directly to electricity, a fuel cell can operate at much higher efficiencies than internal combustion engines, extracting more energy from the same amount of fuel. Fuel cells also have no moving parts, so there are no mechanical losses caused by friction, enabling even greated efficiencies to be achieved.
The PureMotion fuel cell system is based on UTC Power's Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology. The system operates at near-ambient pressure providing a unique advantage - the system requires no compressor. This feature combined with the hybrid-drive system enables superior fuel economy and system reliability.
The overall impact of these multiple efficiency gains is significant. In fact, the PureMotion 120 fuel cell power system and ISE Corporation's hybrid-electric drive system enable the VanHool A330FC bus to achieve more than two times the efficiency of a conventional diesel-powered bus.
Extremely Quiet Operation
The fuel cell component of this innovative bus has no moving parts and operates at near-ambient pressure, so it does not require an air compressor. This design results in a cabin noise environment that rivals a luxury sedan - ensuring tranquil travels aboard a hybrid-electric fuel cell bus, as well as eliminating noise pollution for pedestrians and their communities.
One PureMotion 120 fuel cell power system reduces NOx emission equivalent to removing 87 cars from the roadways per year. In addition, this system reduces particulate matter emissions equivalent to removing 173 cars per year and creates the same environmental benefits as planting 121 acres of forest.
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