Several European bus manufacturers consider the hybrid fuel cell (FCH) bus as the most promising technology to facilitate the decarbonisation of public transport. By leveraging the experiences of past fuel cell bus projects, implementing technical improvements that increase efficiency and reduce costs of FCH buses, as well as introducing a modular approach to hydrogen refueling infrastructure build-up, the High V(Flanders).L(Liguria) O(ScOtland)-City project aims at significantly increasing the “velocity” of integrating these buses on a larger scale in European bus operations.
The project will address the following key issues:
Increase energy efficiency of the buses and reduce cost of ownership:
- hydrogen consumption down to 7–9 kg H2/100km
- integrating latest drive train and battery technologies
- availability of 90% without the need of permanent support
- >12.000 hours warranty and decreased additional warranty cost
- increase lifetime of key components as fuel cells and batteries.
- investment cost <1,3 million euro
Reduce the cost of hydrogen supply:
- Liguria: linking with renewable hydrogen sources
- Antwerp: using by-product hydrogen from industry
- Aberdeen: making use of an existing hydrogen production and distribution mechanisms and eventually Scotland’s extensive wind energy resources
- Groningen: by using H2 taken by a pipeline as a by-product from chlorine production
Consolidate past, current and future fuel cell bus demonstration activities by creating an active dissemination network of Hydrogen Bus Centres of Excellence in collaboration with the Hydrogen Bus Alliance, Global Hydrogen Bus Platform, CHIC Dissemination task force and JTI hydrogen bus demonstration projects. More specifically High V.LO City will:
- Building on the experience of Van Hool the USA (21 buses 2005-2010)
- Link Liguria, Antwerp, Aberdeen and Groningen, with already existing activities in United Kingdom (London), the Netherlands (Amsterdam and Arnhem), Germany (Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin), Spain (Madrid, Barcelona) and Italy (Bolzano and Milano).
Periodic Report Summary 1 - HIGH V.LO-CITY (Cities speeding up the integration of hydrogen buses in public fleets)
Project Context and Objectives:
The High V.LO-City project, through the use of, highly efficient, FCH buses and a comprehensive, modular maintenance and hydrogen infrastructure build-up, provides facilitated substitution of conventional vehicles in public transport fleets. Building on the arguments of the Public Transport (PT) Operators of the High V.LO-City demonstration sites, Liguria, Antwerp and Aberdeen and of previous fuel cell bus demo sites, that led them to start substituting their conventional fleets with FCH buses, the High V.LO-City project further demonstrates the economic and technical viability of these buses and of intelligent infrastructure solutions, necessary for broad market introduction.
The project locations, with regards to past and future demonstration project cities, offer key stakeholders an important perspective for broader European-wide fuel cell and hydrogen business development and investment decisions, engaging new industrial players to get involved in the further deployment of these technologies.
The project includes innovative solutions to current trends in the operations of public transport fleets that require great flexibility in refueling and maintenance infrastructure.
Modular build-up of refueling infrastructure linked to low cost low carbon hydrogen sources as well as models for inter-modular fleet management in combination with other modes of transport will be tested as well.
The overall objective of High V.LO-City is to facilitate rapid deployment of the last generation of FCH buses in public transport operations, by addressing key environmental and operational concerns that transport authorities are facing today.
Through the strategic location of the project demo sites the project envisions broad dissemination of actual FCH bus performance in normal bus operations to other first users and potentially interested transport authorities in their geographical area.
The detailed objectives of the High V.LO-City project are to:
- Implement a fleet of 14 H2 hybrid FC commercial public buses in 3 regions across Europe with significantly enhanced fuel economy and high levels of availability, and with reduced maintenance and external technical input requirements
- Establish and enhance three hydrogen production and refueling facilities, linked to economical and sustainable hydrogen production plants, reducing the life cycle costs of H2 provision and transport
- Create a network of successful FCH bus operation sites, so called Clean Hydrogen Bus Centres of Excellence (CHBCE), linking High V.LO-City sites with similar fuel cell bus demonstrations in Europe, connecting regions form Italy, through Switzerland, Germany with Belgium, UK and Scandinavia, to facilitate the dissemination of clear and factual information on hydrogen bus operations to transport authorities and key decision makers.
- Evaluate the entire life cycle costs of buses, from their productions up the final operation aspects in view of the requirements of the EU Directive on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles (COM2009/33).
- Contribute to the commercialization of H2 Hybrid buses in Europe, supporting the transferability of results achieved. High V.LO-City will set up business cases and Regional Mobility Plans as a success case and success models to be re-used in other European regions.
- Contribute to the standardisation of authorization protocols for hydrogen refueling infrastructure, through the analysis of existing experiences and existing barriers of national and regional regulatory frameworks in Europe.
- Facilitate EU objectives and policies by researching and demonstrating the environmental, human health, energy efficiency, social and economic benefits of hydrogen powered buses in public transport,
- Pro-actively communicate project advantages to citizens, communities, decisionmakers and decision-formers so as to increase awareness, promotion, deployment and broader adoption of hydrogen fuelled vehicles, in particular for public and collective clean transport.
During the first year of the project, the work focused on the roll-out of the demonstration infrastructure. This infrastructure contains 14 FC Buses for the three sites Antwerp (Belgium), San Remo (Italy) and Aberdeen (UK). Each of these sites will be equipped with an own HRI, that is part of the demo infrastructure. It is aimed to have the entire infrastructure in operation late 2013-early in 2014.
The fuel cell buses presented in the High V.LO City project are a zero emission solution for public transport with a further decrease of total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase reliability and availability. These third generation FC buses are developed based on future drive cycles at the 3 demonstration sites and a subsequent power flow description. In the first year, technical solutions are worked out and subsequently equipment is selected to meet the High V.LO City’s objectives. Special attention had to go to the Aberdeen buses, since these are right hand driven FCB’s, requiring a totally review of the bus mechanics. The High V.LO City buses are in production to be delivered between March 2013 and January 2014.
At the Antwerp site of the High V.LO City project, 5 FC Buses will be demonstrated by De Lijn and are refueled at Solvay in the port of Antwerp where a brand new hydrogen refueling infrastructure (HRI) is being built. The HRI uses by-product H2, produced from the local chlorine industry. The HRI consists out of an 500bar storage tank that allows the refueling of 2 buses an hour in a refueling time of less than 10 mintues. The HRI will be located in Lillo, 22km away from Antwerpen City where the buses will run on line 630 between Luchtbal and Kapellen. The infrastructure is being constructed in 2013. The demo site becomes operational early in 2014.
In Sanremo, 5 FC Buses are demonstrated on the service between La Brezza and Villa Helios, which is today equipped with overline trolley buses). To refuel these buses, a hydrogen production plant with refueling infrastructure will be constructed. The choice for the production type is not final yet. It is aimed that an in truck hydrogen is available in the bus depot to refuel the FC Buses from September 2013 onwards, whereas the final solution with local hydrogen production is operational at the end of 2013. The buses will be on site end of March 2013 or possibly one quarter later on request of the PT operator following late commissioning of the HRI.
The demonstration site in Aberdeen is provided with sustainable produced hydrogen on a wind farm off the Aberdeen coast in Scotland. The hydrogen is transported towards the Kittybrewster depot in tube trailers, where the HRI is located. The 4 FC Buses will operate on line 11 from FirstGroup. This High V.LO City site becomes operational early in 2014.
It is a main objective for the High V.LO City project to disseminate about the FC bus performance during the demonstration of the infrastructure (FCB and HRI’s). Therefore, a set of KPI’s has been defined for buses and refueling infrastructure starting from the MAF out of the CHIC project. The KPI’s are calculated from parameters that are logged, centralized and evaluated in a full automated way. This is the first time in any demonstration project that such detailed data is logged in the bus and subsequently transferred and assessed automatically.
High V.LO City was presented on different occasions by life presentations, some of them with a demonstrator Fuel Cell Bus and/or in publications.
In the definition of Bus Centres of Excellence, the preference goes to a concept that can be used in the three sites, but with the ability to use and expand it to other locals, both physically or virtually through the existing media networks. Universities, local schools and interest groups (in public transport, zero emission alternatives and hydrogen) are free to develop the platform material with the site communication manager, for general or specific consultation.
In the High V.LO City project the demonstration of 14 FCB at three demonstration sites in Sanremo, Aberdeen and Antwerp is realised, each of them equipped with an own, novel Refueling Infrastructure. This demonstration, together with highly efficient dissemination activities, will result in:
-an increase of public awareness in both the 3 sites involved and potential candidate regions in order to accelerate the commercialization steps of hydrogen public transport.
-documentation on approval and certification processes of vehicles and infrastructure
-dissemination of lessons learned
-evaluation of vehicles and refueling infrastructure
-enlargement and interlinking of spots in Europe’s zero-emission corridor
Impacts related to the JTI Implementation Plan
High V. LO-City intends to maximise the effect of its actions at local level, considering the regional development as the key element to sustain the overall European FCH market take-up. Involving in each of the three planned demonstration sites the entire value chain of stakeholders (Public administration, PT Operators, Research organisation, educational centres), the expected outcome is to reach Regional & Urban Mobility Plans, which will commit selected regions to built-up long-lasting integrated policies to support FCH market enhancement, targeted to their specific needs.
The first step to reach an European impact is the selection of three test sites in Antwerp, Liguria and Aberdeen. These demonstration sites represent three of the most relevant scenarios to be analysed in Europe to sustain the FCH market take-off. Positive comparison analysis of these demonstrators will allow High V. LO-City to produce sound business cases and regulatory proposals on effective push and pull local measures.
Impacts of EU transport policy
HIGH V.LO-CITY investigates and demonstrates new buses systems and solutions to identify a set of tools and solutions (practical, organisational or other) that could contribute to enhance the integration and sustainability of the H2 vehicles market in Europe. HIGH V.LO-CITY is concerned with the potential of knowledge sharing and transferability of successful local business cases, presenting practical and feasible approaches on how to speed the market enhancement of innovative H2 vehicles and refueling infrastructures at regional level.
Expected impacts in relation to stakeholders involvement
Industrial partners will use the technical results of the demonstration activities to develop the designs of their buses and refueling systems ready for a widespread rollout of the technology.
They will support a process of standardisation in defining the H2 bus of the future, promoting a convergence strategy on technical and functional standards of buses and their technical components.
Bus manufacturers will also use the results of the project to develop a formal commercial offer of hydrogen bus vehicles as a part of their standard product range. This will allow the bus industry to respond to zero emission mandated procurement projects, to promote hydrogen bus technologies to their mainstream customers and begin to develop formal procurement strategies. The results of the successful deployment of hydrogen buses under this project will be a critical part of that offer.
Research partners will use the results of the project to demonstrate the beneficial contribution of the High V. LO-City project to the reduction of greenhouse gases, and the benefit to a range of environmental and economic policies and strategies of the EC. These benefits of hydrogen buses will be used to lobby for supportive international, national and local policies during the commercial introduction of hydrogen bus technologies.
PT operators and Regional administrations will use the results of the project and the increased public approval for hydrogen bus technologies to set-up, in their own territories and regions local Clean Technology Centre of Excellence.
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