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Two More Hydrogenics Fuel Cell MidiBuses In Operation in Europe

Two additional Hydrogenics fuel-cell powered hybrid MidiBuses have now been put into operation. The buses were purchased by Vestische Strassenbahnen GmbH, a regional urban transit authority located in Herten, Germany, as previously announced by Hydrogenics in 2008. There are now ten Hydrogenics-powered MidiBuses in operation in Europe based on a Tecnobus S.p.A electric bus platform. (Earlier post.)

The latest two MidiBuses have a new combined heat and power (CHP) feature that captures the heat generated by the fuel cells to warm passengers during the cold winter months, according to Daryl Wilson, Hydrogenics President and CEO.

The MidiBus uses a 10 kW HyPM fuel-cell hybrid powertrain in conjunction with a 72V alkaline battery pack to produces 25 kW of total power for the traction drive, which delivers 235 N·m of torque. The bus has a top speed of 33 km/h (20.5 mph). Two roof-mounted 2.9 kg tanks store a total of 5.8 kg of compressed hydrogen.

The primary benefit of the midibus’s hybrid design is its ability to travel approximately 200 km (124 miles) on one fill of hydrogen. This favorably compares to the 60 to 80 km that the same bus can operate on standard lead-acid batteries alone, an inadequate duration for most transit operations.

In addition, Hydrogenics said it has made significant progress with its Rampini Fuel Cell bus project, now planned to be commissioned this month in Gladbeck, Germany. The bus, developed on the Rampini ZEV platform, is approximately double the size of the MidiBus and can hold more than 40 passengers. Additional models are expected to be ready for procurement after appropriate testing is complete.

The Rampini-Hydrogenics bus project uses two 16 kW stacks and has a projected range of 170-190 km (105-118 miles).

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