|AC Transit / UTC Power / ISE / Van Hool hybrid fuel cell bus.|
The Greater Hartford (Connecticut) Transit District has contracted with UTC Power of South Windsor, Conn., for the company and its partners to provide a 40-foot hybrid-electric fuel-cell-powered transit bus that will be used in revenue service.
As part of the agreement, UTC Power also will provide two years of program support, including the use of a hydrogen refueling station. UTC Power is a United Technologies Corp.
A $2.9 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to the Greater Hartford Transit District will pay for the bus and infrastructure to support future fuel cell transportation projects in Greater Hartford. CTTRANSIT will operate the bus once it arrives in Hartford.
The bus refueling facility will be located at UTC Power’s headquarters in South Windsor, about 10 miles from Hartford.
UTC Power’s industry partners in producing the bus include AC Transit of Oakland, Calif., which now has three UTC Power fuel cell-powered buses in operation; Van Hool of Belgium, one of the world’s largest bus and coach manufacturers; and ISE Corporation, a leading integrator of hybrid-electric and integrated fuel-cell drive systems for buses.
The AC Transit design fuel cell bus was three years in the making, and features a UTC Power 120-kW fuel cell power system . (Earlier post.) The 120-kW UTC Power system combines oxygen from the air with hydrogen gas stored on-board the bus, at low, near-ambient pressure, removing the need for a compressor and increasing the fuel efficiency and reliability of the whole system.
Sodium Nickel Chloride high-temperature (Zebra) batteries can store as much as 53 kWh of electrical energy and release up to 95 kW of power, enabling efficiency improvements through regenerative braking, while augmenting the 120 kW of power available from the fuel cell. The bus uses dual Siemens traction motors.
UTC Power has provided fuel-cell power plants for fleet transportation since 1998, and its fuel cells have powered buses in the United States, Spain and Italy.