Project Description

GHS helps Danish city put hydrogen buses in service

Northern pioneers

Local authorities in the northern Danish city of Aalborg had been looking for opportunities to show the area’s commitment to green energy initiatives. One area of interest was eco-friendly public transportation, as Denmark had set a goal of making all public transportation in the country emissions-free by 2030. The local fleet of city and regional buses seemed like an obvious place to start.

Already aware that hydrogen buses were being produced in Europe, officials learned that a nearby company, Green Hydrogen Systems, was producing a new type of electrolyzer that could produce hydrogen fuel using wind, solar or hydroelectric power. A vision of being the first city in Denmark with a fleet of zero-emissions hydrogen buses began to crystalize, and officials decided to start with three buses.

We knew where we wanted to go, and we knew how to get the buses, but the hydrogen refueling station (HRS) was a bigger challenge,” says Christian Twitchett of the Department of Public Transportation and Mobility in Denmark’s North Jutland region. “After quite a bit of searching, we discovered GHS, who could deliver the electrolyzer and also serve as EPC for the project

Scalable refueling

The refueling station is based on the GHS HyProvideÔ A-Series, a next-generation alkaline electrolyzer that is built for efficiency, on-site operation, optimized to run on electricity from renewable sources and scalable. The efficiency, on-site operation and green optimization enable the A-Series to deliver green hydrogen at the lowest levelized price available. The scalable design leaves the door open to additional buses later on.

Green Hydrogen Systems typically serves as an OEM component supplier, providing electrolyzers to companies that produce or integrate hydrogen refueling stations and other types of hydrogen-producing facilities. In this case, the company also took on the role of EPC, dimensioning the system in terms of capacity, redundancies and other factors. GHS called on Spanish partners Clan Tecnológica (Clantech) and Calvera to provide the facility’s storage, compressor and dispenser technologies.

We’ve been in business over ten years and have worked on projects with many other players in the hydrogen business,” says GHS CEO Niels-Arne Baden. “While we normally concentrate on supplying HRS builders, power-to-X facilities and industry with our in-demand electrolyzers, we can also serve as EPC when it makes most sense for us to take on this role

Major environmental benefits

Aalborg’s first hydrogen-powered bus was taken into service on March 10, 2020, and the two remaining buses started their routes on March 16. The three buses are expected to drive some 150,000 km per year and carry about a million passengers.

The hydrogen buses will save about 60,000 liters of diesel fuel each year and reduce CO2 emissions by some 131 tons annually. Hydrogen fuel emits no harmful particles, which will improve the air quality in Aalborg and other towns in the region.

We could not be more pleased with the outcome of this project,” says Mr. Twitchett. “The comparatively low cost of green hydrogen that GHS is able to deliver has opened the door to significant environmental benefits for our community.”

Facts and figures

Buses
Manufacturer Van Hool (Model A330)
Fuel cells Ballard Power Systems
Hydrogen capacity 38 kg
Minimum range 350 km
Funding FCH-JU 3Emotion project
Fueling station
EPC Green Hydrogen Systems
Capacity Approx. 130 kg per day
Electrolyzer GHS HyProvide™ 60
Additional components Clantech compressor, Calvera storage and dispenser
Storage pressure 35, 350 and 450 bar