Czech town launches triple-hybrid fuel cell bus
Travelling by bus in the town of Neratovice in the Střední Čechy region of the Czech Republic will never be the same again following a recent development coordinated by the nuclear research institute, Rez. Marked by an absence of noise and vibration – so typical of traditional diesel engines – the newly introduced Triple Hybrid Bus or TriHyBus now circulating in the town offers passengers a more enjoyable, environmentally friendly mode of travel.
“The TriHyBus project heralds a new era in the Czech Republic, one in which the transport sector is less dependent on fossil fuels and more dependent on hydrogen and electricity. This project has opened many doors for us, especially in the renewable energy sector.”
Luděk Janík, Director of the Czech Hydrogen and Fuel cell Platform
Thriving cities and towns need no longer be synonymous with smog-filled skies and noisy traffic, Neratovice’s 16 400 inhabitants are learning. With hydrogen as the fuel of the future, not only can urban dwellers enjoy cleaner air and less disturbing sound levels but they can also feel the health benefits as the risks of suffering from associated effects, such as asthma and high blood pressure, are greatly reduced.
The TriHyBus is the product of a cooperation agreement between Czech nuclear research institute Rez, Skoda Electric, Linde Gas, Veolia Transport, Proton Motor (Germany) and IFE Halden (Norway). Skoda Electric was responsible for the bus, including its electric drive system and system integration, and Proton Motor supplied the triple hybrid fuel cell propulsion system.
The standard-sized, 12 meter-long, bus uses a 48 kw Proton Motor fuel cell along with a bank of ultracapacitors which are recharged during braking. The bus is filled with 20 kg of gaseous hydrogen at 350 bar and does more than 250 km per tank with a maximum speed of 65 km/h.
A hydrogen refueling station was built by the Linde Group in Neratovice and is supplied with compressed hydrogen gas from off site. The filling process takes less than 10 minutes.
Greener and smarter travel
As the fuel of the future, hydrogen is entirely environmentally friendly. The only emissions produced are water emissions. What’s more, this new fuel substantially reduces Europe’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, such as oil and natural gas.
The smart hybrid design system – the fuel cell is an energy converter which uses chemical energy to produce electricity – boasts an overall efficiency of 50%. Currently, one bus and one hydrogen filling station are in operation.
This development was made possible thanks to financing from the ERDF, the Czech Ministry of Transport and the individual partners of the project.