UTC Power fuel cell system sets record at AC Transit

12 next-generation buses go into service over the next six months

UTC Power has powered three AC Transit buses more than 255,000 miles.

UTC Power, South Windsor, CT, has set durability records for its latest generation transit bus fuel cell system. According to the company its PureMotion® Model 120 fuel cell powerplant aboard an Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) bus operating in the greater Oakland, CA, area has surpassed 7,000 hours in service with the original cell stacks and no cell replacements, and another has exceeded 6,000 hours.

“We have worked very hard at UTC Power over the past several years to improve our fuel cell stack durability, which is a key challenge in commercializing fuel cell vehicles,” says Ken Stewart, UTC Power vice president, transportation. “These operating hour numbers demonstrate our significant progress.”

Three AC Transit buses equipped with UTC Power fuel cell systems have now traveled more than 255,000 miles, with an average fuel economy that is 65 percent better than the control fleet of diesel buses running the same routes and duty cycles.

UTC Power says transit buses with fuel cell systems can have a major impact on greenhouse gas reduction, ranging from a 43 percent reduction over diesel buses if hydrogen is supplied from the reformation of natural gas, up to a 100 percent reduction when hydrogen is generated from on-site renewable sources such as solar and wind power.

According to Jaimie Levin, director of alternative fuels, and policy and hydrogen fuel cell program manager, AC Transit will apply the newest UTC Power fuel cell systems in its new fleet of 12 next-generation buses over the next six months.BR