Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


HYTRANSIT Report Summary

Project ID: 303467
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: United Kingdom

Periodic Report Summary 5 - HYTRANSIT (European Hydrogen Transit Buses in Scotland)

Project Context and Objectives:
The HyTransit project is trialling a fleet of six hybrid fuel cell buses in daily fleet services, together with one state-of-the-art hydrogen refuelling station in Aberdeen (Scotland) over six years. HyTransit forms the backbone of the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project, which together with four buses from the High V.LO-City project led to the deployment of Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen buses to date.
Project partners
Participant name Short name
The original objectives of the HyTransit project were to:
• Coordinate an industrial consortium from across Europe to deliver the project, including buses from Van Hool (Belgium) and state of the art refuelling technology from BOC (UK).
• Develop six A330 hybrid fuel cell buses specifically modified for long sub-urban routes.
• Generate new Intellectual Property for Europe by developing the concept design for the world’s first hybrid fuel cell coach for long-route transit applications.
• Expose the six buses to real world operation with exactly the same service requirements as diesel buses, with 14 hours and 270km per day operation.
• Deploy a state of the art hydrogen refuelling station to serve the bus fleet. The station utilise ionic compressors, configured to allow a refuelling speed of up to 120 grams per second. Hydrogen will be produced on-site via three water electrolyser units.
• Initiate the first step for a large-scale rollout of hydrogen buses in Scotland. The next logical step after this project is Scottish Government support for the deployment of a minimum of 50 buses. This project will be the first step to realising this vision for Scotland.
• Prove that a hybrid fuel cell bus is capable of meeting the operational performance of an equivalent diesel bus on demanding UK routes (including urban driving), whilst considerably exceeding its environmental performance. This will be achieved by bringing together a primarily industrial consortium from five member states to develop, deploy and then monitor the buses in day-to-day service, with an overarching aim to demonstrate an operational availability for the buses equivalent to diesel (over 90%).
• Improve the main commercial barrier to the technology (namely bus capital cost) by deploying state of the art components, which will reduce the unit cost of the bus to below 1.1 million euros for the first time.
• Disseminate the results of the project to the public. In addition, a more targeted approach will be adopted towards the key stakeholders who will be responsible for decisions on the next steps towards commercialisation of the technology.
The main project objectives and key activities addressed during period 5 were:
Work Package 1 (Coordination):
• Submitted Period 4 reports.
• Continued monthly consortium calls to maintain a high level of project communication.
Work Package 2 (HRS construction and operation):
• Station achieved its second full year of operation with high availability level (above 99.4%).
• Two services of the station were completed in 2017 to ensure there were no on-going operational problems.
Work Package 3 (FC bus maintenance and operation):
• Fuel cell buses continue to operate on commercial bus routes and submit monitoring data to the analysis team.
• The training of drivers continues. There are now over 60 drivers fully trained to drive the fuel cell buses.
• There have been further efforts to align Stagecoach and First Group’s maintenance activities with techniques of hydrogen bus preventative maintenance.
• Installed a storage container at Kittybrewster to ensure quick access to spare parts.
Work Package 4 (Analysis):
• Analysed raw monitoring data against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
• Compiled 12 monthly datasets and circulated reports to the consortium throughout the year.
• Awaiting confirmation from High V.Lo-City project that they will carry out the life-cycle assessment study for Aberdeen as a whole.
Work Package 5 (Dissemination):
• Hosted multiple hydrogen-related events locally under the ‘H2 Aberdeen’ project. This included the Hydrogen Summit in March 2017 (part of the UK-wide Hydrogen Week initiative).
• Presented the project and results at multiple events across Europe.

Project Results:
2017 marked two years of operation for the 6 HyTransit fuel cell buses and the Kittybrewster hydrogen refuelling station. Over this period, the HRS deployed in Aberdeen has exceeded expectations in terms of availability and the quantity of hydrogen dispensed. Bus availability has also improved, with the main limiting factor relating to the restricted availability of parts in Aberdeen. Along with positive technical results, dissemination efforts have also continued to improve customer perceptions and new bus customers still use the HyTransit project as a successful example to follow.
In the 5th period of the project Aberdeen’s HRS demonstrated some of the highest availability seen across hydrogen bus projects. With an availability of 98.6% the station dispensed over 41, 077 kilograms across 1,526 refuelling events in 2017. This high level of performance can be attributed to a combination of factors such as the innovative design of the station, the use of highly reliable state-of-the-art ionic compressors, and an effective remote monitoring and maintenance regime. Any issues encountered have been minor and have not resulted in the complete shut-down of the HRS.
Bus availability has increased year-on-year from 2015 due to a comprehensive labor and maintenance contract and the training of drivers to notice when preventative maintenance is required. Bus availability was further increased when a storage container was installed at the Kittybrewster maintenance depot to house replacement parts for the buses. This helped circumvent some of the long delays Stagecoach has previously experienced in getting spare parts delivered from Van Hool, meaning many buses could be repaired on a much shorter timescale.
Data collection from the electrolyers, refuelling station and buses has continued throughout 2017. Monthly reports have been circulated to partners to ensure equipment performance is monitored continuously and standards are kept high. From the yearly data reports, overall performance can be assessed and key points for improvement defined. One of the key learnings harnessed from the HyTransit project highlights the need to improve energy consumption at HRS.
Aberdeen has played a key role in the widened adoption of hydrogen buses. Through hosting multiple hydrogen-related events, including the Hydrogen Summit in March 2017, Aberdeen has highlighted the viability of hydrogen buses for high utility urban public transport and encouraged their deployment in multiple other cities across Europe.

Potential Impact:
See attached publishable summary in pdf
List of Websites:

Reported by

United Kingdom
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