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Nuvera Awarded Federal Grant for First Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Bus Demonstration in Massachusetts

Nuvera Fuel Cells has been awarded a $4.875-million grant from the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) through the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium (NAVC) for a hydrogen fuel-cell bus and refueling demonstration project at Logan International Airport. This project will be the first fuel-cell bus demonstration in Massachusetts and is part of the National Fuel-Cell Bus Program.

Nuvera will be providing one 82 kW HDL-82 fuel-cell power module, which will be integrated into a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) shuttle bus, scheduled for in-service operation.

The HDL-82 power module combines the Nuvera Andromeda II stack (earlier post) with a balance of plant and high-efficiency air compressor developed by Centro Ricerche Fiat. The Andromeda II stack offers a power density of up to 1.6 kW/liter.

The stack uses no external humidification for hydrogen or air. The ability to use dry air and hydrogen as inputs simplifies the balance of plant, reducing the heat exchange loops from three to one in the stack. The dry hydrogen feed with recirculation utilizes more than 99% of the hydrogen. Low-pressure operation allows for the use of a high-efficiency, low-pressure blower.

PowerTap hydrogen generation system. Click to enlarge.

Additionally, Nuvera is providing a PowerTap hydrogen-generation system to provide an on-site hydrogen infrastructure to the fuel cell bus. This will be the first hydrogen refueling station in the state of Massachusetts, and the second in New England.

PowerTap is an on-site natural gas reformer that comprises a fuel processor assembly, a reformate compressor, a pressure swing absorption system, an electric-driven hydrogen compressor (a cascade storage system), and a dispenser. PowerTap systems can produce up to 28 Nm3/hr (1,000 scfh) of hydrogen—2.36 kg of H2/hr.

Other partners in this project include Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), ISE Corporation, Keyspan and AVSG.

Nuvera, owned by Amerada Hess, Gruppo de Nora and Renault, entered a multi-year agreement at the end of 2005 with Fiat Powertrain Technologies and Centro Ricerche Fiat to research and develop a high-efficiency hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion system for fuel-cell vehicles. (Earlier post.)




What a shame to piss away research money on something that will never be practical fot many years.

Biofuels could be used today to reduce our dependancy on Middle East fossil fuels that are killing us slowly.

Roger Pham

Your PHEV idea is excellent, especially for a personal vehicle. However, for a bus which must be used constantly, battery will prove to be inadequate due to heat built up from constant use, thus will shorten battery's life. Plus, battery requires hours to recharge, whereas H2 tank can be filled up in minutes. For a bus used in areas of heavy traffic congestion, diesel would cause too much pollution, and even natural gas can give off carbon monoxide. H2 reformation from fossil source of energy such as coal, natural gas can be just as efficient as gasoline or even diesel, from well-to-wheel analysis.

What is there not to like about H2, a clean and efficient fuel now and long into the future. H2 can be produced efficiently from just about all sources of energy, whether renewable or not, at equal or higher efficiency than electricity when computed well-to-wheel.


Roger - Thank you for your comment.

Be sure to take a look at the excellent article in the November Popular Mechanics mag. It calls to question - for good and valid reasons - why H2 it some way from doable right now.

Biofuels are doable right now and the infrastructure to distribute them is largely in place.

My reasons for scoffing at Hydrogen are not emotional. They are purely practical.

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