NewBusFuel is a study funded by Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking which had the goal of resolving the knowledge gap for establishment of large scale hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for fuel cell buses.
The study commenced in summer 2015 and assessed the central technology- and engineering solutions required for the refuelling of a large number of hydrogen fuel cell buses at a single bus depot. Large scale bus depot refuelling imposes significant new challenges which had not yet been tackled by the hydrogen refuelling sector:
- Scale – throughputs in excess of 3,000kg/day are expected and there is considerably larger than the 1-200kg/day expected for current FCEV stations – there is a question over the viability of solutions of this type
- Availability - 100% available supply is needed for the public transport networks which will rely on hydrogen as the only fuel source at bus depots
- Short refuelling window – buses will be refuelled in a short overnight window, leading to rapid H2 throughput
- Footprint – the refuelling units need to be reduced in size to fit within busy urban bus depots
- Volume of hydrogen storage – which can exceed 10 tonnes per depot and leads to new regulatory and safety constraints
- Cost – understanding how scale affects prices and requires new business concepts leading to competitive fuel prices