Hydrogen Vehicles – 10 Years Of Experience

A 10 years experience in hydrogen vehicles

In this article, the Pure Energy Centre takes you in a journey where they illustrate what has happened in the last 10 years within the hydrogen transport industry. They show you how they started their developments from small simple hydrogen gizmo vehicles to trucks.

The Pure Energy Centre (PEC) team has been involved in the development, running and maintaining of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles since 2004. They started their development work with a hydrogen fuel cell eco-marathon vehicle. This vehicle was launched in 2004 and competed successfully at the Nogaro eco-marathon race in France in 2005.

From this experience, the PEC team went on to operate a two seater hydrogen fuel cell batterie hybrid vehicle for 5 years. This vehicle was the first road licensed hydrogen vehicle in the UK at the time and remained so for many years. At the end of its five year programme, it was decided that the UK first hydrogen road licensed vehicle was to be donated to the Edinburgh Royal Transport Museum.

By the end of 2012, and through all of the learnings accumulated with the eco-marathon vehicle and the two seater vehicle, the Pure Energy Centre launched its supply of 2 seaters hydrogen fuelled van vehicles. These are completely geared out to fleets such as vans used for delivering mail, council vans, taxi fleets and many other applications such as rapid mail delivery.

What hydrogen infrastructure do you need to run hydrogen vehicles?

Each hydrogen vehicle will need a hydrogen fueling station. Such station will be used to dispense hydrogen into vehicles. The good news is that hydrogen can be produced using green energy. So if you have solar, wind or hydro power and even marine wave/tidal power, then you can produce hydrogen fuel cleanly with no associated emissions. To produce pure green hydrogen, you just need to have a green energy source (wind, solar, hydro, waver, tidal power, etc.). The generated green power is fed to a hydrogen electrolyzer. The electrolyzer electrolyses water (H2O) and produces hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). Hydrogen is stored as the fuel and oxygen is either vented or stored for welding applications (or other). Hydrogen can be stored in many different mechanism, at low pressure or high pressure. In order to store it at high pressure, a hydrogen compressor is used, which can pressurized the hydrogen to up to 900 bars.

900 bar hydrogen compressor for hydrogen vehicles

What are the latest hydrogen vehicles development?

The latest developments of the hydrogen vehicles is now leading to the implementation of a hydrogen truck. In 2014, the Pure Energy Centre will be able to supply these hydrogen fuel cell trucks that can be used for delivering goods. There is a large demand for these trucks as there are now cities within the EU and beyond where emitting trucks (both in terms of CO2 and noise) are not allowed in the town centres. As we all know, most of the deliveries occurs in the early hours of the morning, where people complained to councils that truck noise was a big issue. This is now solved by the use of hydrogen fuel cells, as these are not emitting and no noisy.

Conclusions on hydrogen vehicles

The above shows that there has been a major push towards the development of hydrogen vehicle since 2004 from the development of a small eco-marathon hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to a two fully operational hydrogen delivery van and to finally a fully kitted hydrogen truck for sell in 2014. In 10 years, the Pure Energy Centre and the hydrogen fuel transport sector has had a major shift and it is not the case to ask if these vehicles are for real, but it is the case as to when these hydrogen vehicles solution will be running on our roads.