SERC Supports AC Transit in Implementing Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology

AC Transit Fueling Station

A rendering of AC Transit’s hydrogen fueling station in Emeryville, CA.

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, or AC Transit, has been working to introduce hydrogen fuel cell technology into their transit bus system since 1999. Today they have one of the most comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell demonstration programs in the world. This includes three fuel cell buses operating in regular passenger service that have logged over 125,000 miles while serving more than 300,000 passengers.  Their program also includes a fleet of fuel cell passenger vehicles, on-site hydrogen production and fueling, on-site fuel cell vehicle maintenance, extensive evaluation, outreach and education, and safety training.

In support of their hydrogen fuel cell program, SERC has provided consulting services to AC Transit since 2004. We have conducted hydrogen trainings for bus drivers, mechanics, board members (or “policy makers”), and other staff; we have conducted emergency responder trainings for fire departments throughout their service territory; and we have conducted town hall meetings and assisted them with various public outreach activities.

Recently we have begun a new round of work to support AC Transit in building a new hydrogen fueling station at their Emeryville transit facility. We are consulting with them on their facility design and safety analyses and are providing public outreach and first responder training services. Their new hydrogen fueling station in Emeryville will include a publicly accessible fueling station and will serve up to 15 passenger vehicles and 6 buses per day. As much as 420 kilograms of hydrogen per day will be produced from reformed natural gas, as well as electrolytically using solar electricity.

SERC is pleased to be helping AC Transit do this important work to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technology.

About Jim Zoellick

James is a Senior Research Engineer at SERC. He has a B.S. Degree in Environmental Resources Engineering from Humboldt State University, and has worked professionally in the energy field since 1990. Since 1995 he has been a project manager at SERC and has been involved in the design, development, installation, and start-up of electrolytic hydrogen generation systems, hydrogen vehicle fueling stations, hydrogen fuel cell power systems, and solar electric power systems. Mr. Zoellick was the project manager and lead designer for both the Schatz Hydrogen Generation Center and the Zweig Education Building Fuel Cell System at SunLine Transit . Mr. Zoellick's additional work at SERC has included the development and demonstration of hydrogen fuel cell systems for real world applications, including vehicles and stationary, portable and remote power systems. Mr. Zoellick has also been involved in the design, installation, testing and modeling of photovoltaic energy systems, including the design and installation of a 2 kW AC grid-intertied system at the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology. Mr. Zoellick has taught several college level energy courses. He is the current chairman for the City of Arcata Energy Committee.