India’s first hydrogn-powered fuel cell bus has been developed in a collaborative research program between Indian Space Research Organization and Tata Motors Limited (TML). The bus is now undergoing tests at ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu, in southern India, reports Times of India.
The first test was carried out for 5 km in the presence of S Ramakrishnan, director of VikramSarabhai Space Centre, and senior authorities of Tata Motors which carried out the five-year research project.
ISRO was working to develop energy alternatives that could be easily stored and harnessed, with the goal of emitting minimum harmful emissions into the surroundings. The hydrogen cells are said to be a by-product of the cryogenic technology that Isro had been developing for the last few years.
Modeled on a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) bus, the hydrogen cylinders are mounted on the bus’s roof. The fuel system involves hydrogen being converted into alternate current (AC) to drive the electric engine.
TML has undertaken to bring the new design up to roadworthy status.
The project is reported as challenged by the availability of hydrogen with the gas being difficult to source in India. A proposed source is industries that produce hydrogen as a by-product.