Hydrogen has been identified as one of the three types of alternative motor fuels which can contribute to the EC energy policy objectives of increased energy self sufficiency while reducing the presence of harmful emissions in the atmosphere.
The contribution to reduced oil dependency and to the diversification and conservation of energy resources which might be achieved through HyFLEET:CUTE is shown below.
Energy resources to provide H2 in CUTE compared with current energy resources
in European Public Bus Transport
HyFLEET:CUTE is testing many innovations in order to explore a wide range of options for producing, refining, distributing and dispensing hydrogen in the most efficient and environmentally friendly ways.
De-centralised hydrogen production
- Steam reformers produce hydrogen from natural gas. This technology is being used in HyFLEET:CUTE to facilitate the development and introduction of mature small-scale production facilities which will operate reliably and efficiently. These could then be used in the build-up of a decentralised H2 infrastructure based on the existing natural gas distribution network.
- The LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) reformer in Berlin is the first in Europe to reform H2 from LPG which is a waste product from oil refineries. This part of the project will also be looking into the possibility of reforming Bio-DME (Bio Dimethyl Ether) instead of LPG, in order to increase the amount of H2 produced from renewable resources.
- The hydrogen electrolysers that have been installed use electricity from a number of different sources including renewable energies such as solar energy, wind and hydro power. The use of environmentally friendly electricity reduces the production of green house gases from the project, and potentially from the entire transport system. While the absolute amount of fossil fuels not used and greenhouse gases not emitted during HyFLEET:CUTE itself is not of major importance, this innovation demonstrates the practicality of shifting from our current fuels based largely on crude oil, to a fuel based on renewable energy which could be available from within Europe and throughout the world. HyFLEET:CUTE will enable the various hydrogen plant constructors and operators to gain increased experience in this important development.
For further details go to the TECHNOLOGY pages.
- Current hydrogen compressors have shown themselves not capable of providing the high level of availability and reliability required in a vehicle refuelling station. Considerable effort will be undertaken during HyFLEET:CUTE to improve these factors up to the level of current CNG refuelling stations.
- Current high pressure hydrogen refuelling stations sometimes do not completely fill the vehicles. This reduces the vehicle range. A range of modifications to the dispensers will be trialled with a view to improving the reliability of the filling process and the filling levels.
- The filling station in Berlin is designed to supply a fleet of hydrogen ICE buses as well as hydrogen passenger cars. This will allow a real life demonstration of the suitability and reliability of the technologies to service one of the largest hydrogen powered vehicle fleets at one site in the world.
- The filling station in Berlin will also install a new generation of hydrogen compressor. This compressor will not have pistons. It will use ionic liquids to compress the gaseous hydrogen. The objective is to reliably refuel the 14 ICE buses in a time approaching that in which 14 diesel or CNG buses might be filled. The station is designed to be able to ultimately refuel up to 20 gaseous hydrogen fuelled buses or 200 cars.
- The Berlin hydrogen station will also install two stationary fuel cell CHP (combined heat and power) systems. These will use surplus hydrogen produced in the station as well as 'boil off' from stored liquid hydrogen to generate heat and electricity to supply the filling station. This arrangement will greatly increase the total efficiency of the filling station. Surplus energy will be able to be fed into the electricity grid.