Opbrid Introduces New Overhead Fast-Charging System for Buses; Leveraging Lithium Titanate (nLTO) Battery Technology for Rapid Charge Hybrids
|The Bůsbaar rapid charger. Click to enlarge.
Spain-based Opbrid Transporte Sostenible S.L. has introduced the Bůsbaar—an overhead, pantograph-based fast-charging station for buses. Based on technology from the European rail industry, and leveraging the rapid charge capability of nanotechnology Lithium Titanate (nLTO) technology batteries such as those from Altair Nano, the Bůsbaar is a high power (~250 kW) opportunity charging station that rapidly charges a bus at one or both ends of its route.
By fast charging these batteries for 5 or 6 minutes at each end of a bus route, a bus can run throughout the day on 100% electricity from the grid. This enables the upgrading of many hybrid-electric buses to use up to 100% electricity from the grid instead of diesel, Opbrid says. Opbrid calls such buses Rapid Charge Hybrids (RCH).
Built by Swiss electric rail supplier Furrer+Frey and Germany’s Schunk, the Opbrid Bůsbaar can be installed easily in any location, since it is unobtrusive and swings away from the road when not in use. The Bůsbaar can be installed in days at a fraction of the time and cost for installing an electric tram or trolleybus system. Opbrid has also partnered with Epyon on the fast charger.
With this system, it is possible to change most of the urban bus systems in the world from petroleum to electricity simply by changing diesel buses to fast charged hybrids and installing these charging stations. We can do this now, and we need to do this now.—Opbrid CEO Roger Bedell
The Opbrid Bůsbaar was designed to provide a large target for docking the bus to the charging station. This large physical target makes it easy for the bus driver to line up the bus to the charging station in all types of weather and situations.
All electrical connections are overhead to eliminate high voltage risks, and reduce vandalism. To avoid any possibility of collision between the roadside portion of the charger and tall vehicles, the charger swings away from the road when not in use. Additionally, the charger is electrically grounded when retracted, providing a further layer of safety protection.
Roger Bedell (2009) A Practical, 70-90% Electric Bus without Overhead Wires (EVS 24)