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Third Dutch hydrogen station opens; new VDL fuel cell bus concept

Late in November, the AutomotiveCampusNL in Helmond at Brainport opened the third hydrogen station in the Netherlands. Built by Dutch construction multinational Ballast Nedam in cooperation with Hydrogenics, the station will serve VDL Bus and Coach to test its future fuel cell buses. Within the next few months the station will be expanded to include a 700 bar dispenser to make it suitable for passenger cars. Operated by WaterstofNet, the Flemish/Southern Netherlands hydrogen network station is co-financed by the EU Interreg program.

The station features a Hydrogenics HySTAT electrolysis system designed and built by Hydrogenics’ Belgium-based On-Site Generation division. The station consists of a 20ft containerized water electrolyzer that includes a water treatment system, gas purification, cooling system and a 350 bar dispenser to supply up to 65 kg of hydrogen fuel per day. The station will be used to fuel new prototypes of hydrogen buses and a small fleet of hydrogen powered garbage trucks.

On the day of the opening, VDL Bus & Coach, a major Dutch bus manufacturer, unveiled a new fuel cell bus concept. This new VDL Bus & Coach concept incorporates an energy power plant where the only interface to the vehicle is a 600 VDC cable connector and a vehicle communication port.

Hydrogenics Power Systems division designed and supplied the energy power plant which included a HyPM HD90 fuel cell power module, which is used as a range extender for the electric bus, giving it a range of more than 200 km (124 miles). (VDL is also working with a long-range battery-electric bus with a range of 100-150 km, as well as a fast-charging electric bus with a range of 20-30 km.) The unit can be deployed in standard, articulated and double-articulated buses.

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