Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-01-1172
2020-04-14

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses: Modelling and Analysing Suitability from an Operator and Environmental Perspective 2020-01-1172

Global commitments to decrease greenhouse gas emissions have led to a shift to alternative powertrains in the transport sector. In addition to this, stricter controls on air quality within cities has seen the introduction of zero emission zones, requiring vehicles with full zero emission capabilities. As a result, there is growing interest in hydrogen fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) as a zero local emission vehicle with superior range, operational flexibility and refuelling time than other clean alternatives e.g. battery electric buses (BEBs). This is illustrated in increased investment through projects such as JIVE/JIVE2, which are deploying nearly 300 FCEBs and refuelling infrastructure in Europe by the early 2020s. This paper details the performance and suitability analysis of a proposed FCEB, using a quasistatic backwards-facing Simulink powertrain model. The model is validated against existing vehicle data (Mk1), allowing it to be further leveraged for predictions of an advanced future production vehicle (Mk2) with next generation motors and fuel cell stack. The modelled outputs are used for a comparison of the FCEB performance to an equivalent BEB on industry standard drivecycles, as well as several real bus routes generated through data logging activities. The suitability of FCEB vs BEB from an operator usage perspective is thus analysed in different use cases, indicating the route types that favour each. Both single deck and double deck vehicle types are considered. Modelled FCEB and BEB outputs are further utilised in a comparative well-to-wheel assessment, highlighting that the relative suitability of each from an environmental perspective is sensitive to geographical and fuel production method pathways. The paper concludes with a holistic discussion of the environmental and societal benefits of deploying hydrogen buses to reduce local health damaging pollutants and alleviate energy security concerns via the introduction of a feasible and sustainable transport alternative.

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