At Meckenheim, near Cologne, a ground-breaking new Hydrogen refuelling station for city buses is set to become operational soon. Operating as part of a consortium NPROXX has designed, manufactured and installed a key part of this refuelling station which will be operated by the regional transport operator, Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (RVK) – a container full of newly-designed Type 4 pressure vessels which store the hydrogen fuel efficiently.
As well as designing a completely new type 4 pressure vessel for this project to facilitate faster refuelling and greater volume of storage for the fuel, NPROXX has also designed and built the storage infrastructure needed to deliver the fuel efficiently. This consists of a standard-sized container, pipework, framing and all other infrastructure, optimised to enable greater storage volume and faster refuelling.
“This is a success for the entire NPROXX Team and proves again that we have the creative design skills and manufacturing capabilities to create space-saving, efficient hydrogen storage facilities” says Lukas Kalt, Manager for transport and infrastructure at NPROXX. “We have developed and certified every aspect of this project from scratch, tailoring our designs to the needs of this specific project. Now we are collecting data from the operation to ensure we can optimise the efficiency of the storage and refuelling process for the future.”
Powering a fleet of 20 hydrogen buses
NPROXX has acted as part of a consortium of organisations to deliver this refuelling station that will power a fleet of 20 city buses as they travel through the Rhein-Sieg-District near Cologne every day. The official opening ceremony for the fuel station has been delayed by the coronavirus crisis, but it is expected to take place this summer, with many distinguished guests from German regional and national governments in attendance.
For now, one container is on site holding more than 500 kilograms of hydrogen gas and ready to refuel buses with clean, emission-free and efficient energy for public transport. Later this year, NPROXX will install a second container of the same size at the site. Once this second container is in place, the fuelling station will be able to refuel the whole fleet of hydrogen-powered fuel cell buses. At the Meckenheim hydrogen station a bus can refuel completely in as little as 10 minutes. With one full tank of hydrogen the bus can drive a distance of 350 kilometers, producing only one emission: water.