Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-2906
1999-08-17

Final Report for the H2Fuel Bus 1999-01-2906

The H2Fuel Bus is the world's first hydrogen-fueled electric hybrid transit bus (see Figure1.). It was a project developed through a public/private partnership involving several leading technological and industrial organizations, with primary funding by the Department of Energy (DOE). The primary goals of the project were to gain valuable information on the technical readiness and economic viability of hydrogen fueled buses and to enhance the public awareness and acceptance of emerging hydrogen technologies. The bus completed its field-testing and was placed into public service on September 4, 1998 by Augusta Public Transit in Augusta, Georgia. The bus employs a hybrid Internal Combustion (IC) engine/generator and battery powered electric drive system, with onboard storage of hydrogen in metal hydride beds. The initial operating results demonstrated an overall energy efficiency (miles/BTU) twice the range of a similar diesel-fueled bus, while doubling the range of an all-electric vehicle by providing in-transit recharging of the batteries. Subsequent data showed that the power controller was not optimized for maximum battery life and, therefore, some efficiency was lost. Correction of that condition would provide a daily range of at least 120 miles in a hybrid hydrogen/electric-operating mode. The project developed reduced engine tail-pipe emissions, with NOx measured at less than 0.2 ppm. In addition todemonstrating the inherent safety of a solid-state hydrogen storage system, the project also addressed permit, liability, and safety issues, including a safety risk assessment of the metal hydride storage system. State-of-the-art technology in battery system management was likewise demonstrated.

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