|Brazil’s first hydrogen fuel-cell bus.|
Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy and EMTU/SP (São Paulo Metropolitan Urban Transport Company) have officially launched the country’s first hydrogen fuel-cell bus project, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (PNUD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Projects Funding Body (FINEP).
The $16-million project initially consists of the purchase, operation and maintenance of up to five vehicles and a station for hydrogen production and fuel supply for the buses, which will be used on the São Mateus/Jabaquara line in São Paulo, for four years. The buses will start running in an experimental phase next year.
The project—“Environmental Energy Strategy: Buses with Hydrogen Fuel Cell”— has four main objectives:
To develop a zero emission public transportation solution, which contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate, carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC);
To build an understanding of fuel cell and hydrogen technology, enabling Brazil to obtain a leading position, due to its potential market;
To work to develop expertise and knowledge in Brazil, with bus operators, manufacturers, universities, and schools, with the objective of creating a market for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies;
To develop Brazilian specifications for the safe and efficient production, handling, stationary and automotive applications, enabling the development of a safe and efficient use of hydrogen.
The first fuel-cell bus will begin operation in São Paulo in November 2007. The consortium supporting the $16-million project includes:
- AES Eletropaulo: power substation specifications, connection to grid; energy quality and availability.
- Ballard Power Systems: designer, developer and manufacturer of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks.
- EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute): project manager and leader of the consortium.
- Hydrogenics: manufacturer of the electrolyzer and hydrogen fueling station equipment.
- Marcopolo: manufacturer of the bus body and its components.
- Nucellsys: development, manufacturing and application engineering of the fuel-cell systems.
- Petrobras: prime integrator of the hydrogen fueling station.
- Tuttotrasporti: complete vehicle integrator and manufacturer of the chassis.
In 2005, DaimlerChrysler and Ford took over the Ballard Power Systems AG fuel-cell system business from the Canadian Ballard Power Systems Inc. and each own 50% of the company. NuCellSys, together with DaimlerChrysler and Ford, continues to develop and manufacture fuel-cell systems for automotive applications that control and supply the fuel-cell stack with conditioned gases under dynamic load changes and automotive specific requirements. Ballard focuses on the development of fuel-cell stacks.
The Metropolitan Area of São Paulo concentrates the world’s largest bus fleet, with great impact on the environment, and this was crucial for the choice of Brazil by PNUD/GEF as the centre for development of clean passenger transportation technologies.
Imagine a city without car and bus noise, with fresh air and an improvement of living conditions for all the population. These are the direct benefits that hydrogen powered vehicles can offer the society, because they use extremely clean fuel, which may be obtained from many renewable sources, such as solar energy, wind energy, hydroelectric energy and biomass (ethanol).—Márcio Schettino, Development Manager at EMTU
The São Paulo bus fleet is estimated at 30,000 vehicles.
The 12m, 3-door fuel-cell bus will be powered by a 210 kW fuel-cell hybrid drive system (fuel cell + battery), have a capacity of 90 passengers and a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles). Estimated consumption is 14 kg of hydrogen/100 km.
Hydrogenics will supply a HySTAT-60 hydrogen electrolyzer to the project, as well as compression, storage and dispenser modules. The electrolyzer will produce 120 kg of hydrogen per day, with power consumption of 65 kWh/kg. The fueling station is planned to begin operation in the latter half of 2007. Brazil has a great capacity for generating electric energy by means of hydroelectric plants, which account for 92% of all Brazilian electricity.