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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid Street Sweeper Debuts in Basel; Up to 40% WTW CO2 Reduction Compared to Diesel

The Bucher CityCat H2 hydrogen street sweeper. Click to enlarge.

Basel, Switzerland is testing the world’s first hydrogen fuel-cell street sweeper, developed by a Swiss research consortium led by the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) and the Paul Scherrer Institute.

EMPA computer simulations showed that the fuel cell system could halve the tank-to-wheels energy consumption of the street sweeper compared to a conventional diesel engine. This enables a full well-to-wheels reduction of CO2 emissions of around 40%—even with conventional hydrogen production from natural gas—compared to the diesel system.

Tank to wheels energy consumption (left) and well-to-wheels energy consumption and CO2 emissions at right. Diesel-Antrieb = diesel drive. BZ/Batterie-Antrieb = fuel cell/battery drive. Click to enlarge.

The project is funded by the Competence Center for Energy and Mobility of the ETH domain (CCEM), the Federal Office for Energy (BFE), the project partners and the pilot regions, where the vehicle is used.

The CityCat H2 is one outcome of the project “hy.muve (municipal hydrogen-driven vehicle), which also serves as a research platform for socio-economic studies focusing on the acceptance of hydrogen technology, its market and economy.

The CityCat H2 system. Click to enlarge.

The Bucher CityCat H2 replaces a 55 kW diesel engine and hydraulic drive in a conventional Bucher street sweeper with a 20 kW fuel cell system from Proton Motor, a 12 kWh lithium-polymer battery, an electric drive from BRUSA and a 7.5 kg compressed hydrogen storage system (350 bar).

All motors are three-phase AC synchronous machines with frequency converters, and a common 300 VDC voltage network.



As I said early on in the end alot of vehicles people dont even think of will need to go h2 fuel cell simply because of the energy required to operate them. This is a good example.


Agreed. One of the reasons we got into so much trouble when oil prices went up so high last year is that we use oil for everything. One size doesn't fit all, or like my mother use to say 'don't put all your eggs in one basket.' We have to diversify - use the right tool for the right job.


Also agree. I would suggest Canadians consider FCs for their Zambonis.


The Zamboni at my workplace runs on used VO from the burger and fries outlet on site.

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