Hydrogen fuel buses coming to University of Delaware

Hydrogen fuel buses coming to University of Delaware

May 8, 2013 Off By Erin Kilgore

hydrogen fuel bus

University of Delaware seeks to expand hydrogen fuel cell program

Students at the University of Delaware will soon benefit from two new buses from Ebus that will be introduced to the school’s expanding hydrogen fuel cell program. The university has been home for promising fuel cell research, especially in the realm of transportation. The school already boasts of two hydrogen-powered buses in its fleet, but is eager to expand this number in order to collect more data on how hydrogen fuel could be used in public transportation. Two additional buses will put inordinate strain on the school’s hydrogen infrastructure, however, which is why the school will be installing new fuel stations to accommodate the needs of these vehicles.

New buses require more infrastructure

The new hydrogen fuel stations will be installed at the university’s Science, Technology, and Research (STAR) campus. The school’s original hydrogen fuel stations are located some five miles off campus. The new stations will eliminate the need to travel any significant distance and the buses are not expected to experience prolonged downtime as the stations form a small, but comprehensive network. This small scale infrastructure will help the buses accomplish their goal of near constant operation at all times of the day.

New buses may provide valuable insight to fuel cell technology

The University of Delaware is eager to make use of its hydrogen-powered buses as much as possible. The university intends for the buses to eventually operate on real routes beyond campus, ferrying passengers from location to location in high traffic, real world situations. This will help the school determine the viability of hydrogen fuel in public transportation and provide further insight on how fuel cells could be used in this sector.

Hydrogen continues to gain traction in transportation

Hydrogen fuel cells are gaining momentum in the transportation world. Much of the auto industry has plans to launch hydrogen-powered vehicles in just a few short years. There are concerns regarding the efficiency of fuel cells in vehicles like buses, however. By their very nature, buses consume a great deal of energy. While fuel cells are capable of powering buses, some worry that these energy systems are unable to do so for extended periods of time without needing to be refueled.