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| Hersham, UK

Air Products Supplies Hydrogen Bus Fuelling Innovation to OCTA in California

Air Products (NYSE: APD), a global leader in providing hydrogen fuelling and related technology and infrastructure, has celebrated the grand opening of the largest capacity hydrogen fuelling station for transit buses in the United States in Santa Ana, California along with project collaborators: the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), California Air Resources Board (CARB), South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), New Flyer and Trillium.

The new fuelling station, located at OCTA’s bus depot, is equipped with Air Products’ Smartfuel® hydrogen fuelling technology, design, and equipment. OCTA’s current hydrogen fuel cell electric bus fleet is comprised of 10 buses, but the station is built for future growth.  It has a bus fuelling capacity for up to 50 buses, which corresponds to fuelling up to 1,500 kilograms (kg) of hydrogen in an eight-hour time period. The station can fuel transit buses with an average of 28 kg of hydrogen per bus in a time frame of 6 to 10 minutes per bus, while also providing back-to-back bus fuelling for up to 30 buses and simultaneous fuelling capability.

“This station sets a new milestone for bus fuelling capacity and demonstrates other continuing innovations in hydrogen fuelling. While we have designed and built hydrogen fuelling stations around the world for transit agencies, this station brings our advanced fast-fill technology to transit buses by taking advantage of our unique cryogenic compressors and specifically designed cooling system as well as our liquid hydrogen supply position,” said Eric Guter, general manager, Americas Growth Platforms at Air Products.

This hydrogen fuelling project is the result of several organisations working together to usher in the next phase of zero emissions transit vehicles in the U.S. “We would like to congratulate our project collaborators for joining together for such a notable accomplishment and CARB for providing critical funding for this project,” said Guter.

“Funds from the state’s landmark cap-and-trade programme help forward-looking transit agencies like OCTA — and their partners such as Air Products — secure clean energy to modernise and transform their fleets,” Jack Kitowski, chief of CARB’s Mobile Source Control Division, said. “A zero-emission public bus fleet dramatically reduces tailpipe emissions from buses in low-income communities and provides multiple benefits, especially for transit-dependent riders. Fleets that transition to clean energy sources like hydrogen reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and help achieve cleaner air for all of us.”

CTE, a nonprofit that advocates for clean, sustainable, innovative transportation and energy technologies, is managing the project. CTE and OCTA secured $12.47 million, more than half of the funding for the project, from CARB through California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Additional funding came via California’s Senate Bill 1, overseen by the California Department of Transportation, and from the SCAQMD’s Clean Fuels Fund.

“CTE has been working with Air Products for over a decade building hydrogen stations around the US,” said Dan Raudebaugh, CTE’s Executive Director. “This station in Orange County, built in partnership with Trillium, is real game changer for the zero-emission bus industry.”

Air Products has a long history of offering a full suite of hydrogen fuelling solutions with its Smartfuel® technology, ranging from turn-key hydrogen fuelling stations with maintenance, to equipment supply, to hydrogen fuel production and supply. At Santa Ana, Air Products designed and jointly installed the hydrogen fuelling station, supplied most of the major equipment, will substantially maintain the station, and will supply the hydrogen for fuelling the buses. Air Products will deliver liquid hydrogen to the station, where it will be vaporised and compressed into a high-pressure gas using its proprietary cryogenic hydrogen compressors, before being dispensed with Air Products’ fuelling dispensers into the buses. Trillium was project manager, provided site preparation, some equipment, installation and first-line maintenance. 

Air Products has been fuelling buses with hydrogen for over 20 years and recently installed a 1,000 kg/day hydrogen bus fuelling station in Asia, as well as a 200kg/day station in Europe.  Air Products has also been involved with bus projects with Transport for London, and with SARTA in Canton, Ohio. The new OCTA station is Air Products’ third hydrogen bus fuelling station in the U.S.

Air Products, the leading global supplier of hydrogen to refineries to assist in producing cleaner burning transportation fuels, has vast experience in the hydrogen fuelling industry. In fact, several sites today for certain hydrogen fuelling applications are fuelling at rates of over 75,000 refills per year. Use of the company’s fuelling technology is increasing and is used in over 1,500,000 hydrogen fills per year. The company has been involved in over 250 hydrogen fuelling projects in the United States and 20 countries worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, cell towers, material handling equipment, and even submarines have been fuelled with trend-setting Air Products’ SmartFuel® technologies.

Air Products has more than 60 years of hydrogen experience and an extensive patent portfolio in hydrogen dispensing technology. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen and a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations can be delivered to a site via truck or pipeline, produced by natural gas reformation, biomass conversion, or by electrolysis, including electrolysis that is solar and wind driven.