Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, more commonly known as AC Transit, boasts the largest hydrogen fuel cell bus program in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. This places them on the leading edge introducing hydrogen and fuel cell vehicle technology. Their HyRoad fuel cell vehicle demonstration program has operated since 2000. This program includes fuel cell bus and light duty fuel cell vehicle operation, on-site hydrogen production, delivery and storage of hydrogen produced off-site, hydrogen vehicle fueling, hydrogen vehicle maintenance, safety training, and public education. Throughout the project period, SERC has partnered with AC Transit, providing education and outreach, training, and consulting services.
SERC recently added UTC Power to their list of clients for whom they have provided hydrogen safety and awareness training. That list also includes Chevron, AC Transit, SunLine Transit, and the State University of New York at Buff alo.
UTC Power, a Connecticut-based company, has led an industry team to build New England’s fi rst fuel cell bus, which will be operated by CTTRANSIT. The bus will debut in Hartford in April. A $2.9 million Federal Transit Administration grant is paying for the bus and associated infrastructure development. The bus features a UTC Power PureMotion™ 120 kW fuel cell power system, a VanHool chassis, and a hybrid all-electric drive system integrated into the bus by ISE Research Corporation. The bus will be fueled at a new hydrogen fueling station at UTC Power, and will be housed and maintained at CT Transit’s central bus terminal.
In order to promote the safe use of hydrogen as a transportation fuel and energy commodity, we need to educate and train industry professionals, emergency responders, government officials, permitting officials, and the general public about the promise of hydrogen and its safety characteristics. SERC is doing its part to spread the word. In recent years, we have developed and delivered hydrogen safety presentations to numerous groups.
In November of 2005 we trained over one hundred Oakland, CA firefighters about the safety aspects of gaseous hydrogen fuel and the specific safety features associated with AC Transit’s hydrogen energy facilities. The trainings included a 45-minute classroom presentation and a facility walk-through.