|2020/4/9 14:00||Green Car Congress||
AMPLY Power saves up to 40% on energy costs for Tri Delta Transit electric buses
Charging-as-a-service provider AMPLY Power is managing the charging of electric buses for Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority, which is operating under the name Tri Delta Transit. AMPLY identified 40% of annual energy savings its managed charging software platform could realize, while guaranteeing vehicles were charged and ready to work each day. AMPLY expects savings to increase as Tri Delta Transit expands its electric bus fleet in the future. AMPLY’s hardware-agnostic, cloud-based smart charging system monitors the charging status and power levels in real-time, deploying algorithms to minimize utility demand and time-of-use rate charges. Using this real-time status allows AMPLY’s system to forecast when the vehicles will be ready-to-go, and once the vehicles are out delivering passengers, AMPLY’s system can track their return state-of-charge battery level and length of time to recharge. For Tri-Delta, this is realizing up to 40% savings on energy rates. Additionally, as a regulated fuel supply entity with CARB, AMPLY supported Tri Delta Transit in monetizing its low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) credits. Such savings and LCFS credits can be reinvested into operations to accelerate a transit authority’s ability to adopt a zero-emissions future. Fleet operators work on a very rigorous timeline and must adhere to a strict operational dance to ensure their vehicles run on-schedule. This on-the-go structure makes finding the time to optimize an electric fleet more difficult than one might expect. Municipal and commercial fleets are on the front lines of state-wide goals to decarbonize our transportation sector, and they deserve solutions that make the transition both simple and cost-effective. We’re proud to work with Tri Delta Transit on their charging operations so they can put their focus on providing quality service to their riders.—Vic Shao, CEO of AMPLY Beyond managing charging operations with a depot’s existing hardware, AMPLY offers a comprehensive Charging-as-a-Service to fleet owners. The offering includes managing utility administration and interconnection, as well as establishing an optimal charging strategy based on drive and duty cycles. This service can also provide debt financing or secure grant funding to reduce capital expenditures and implement resiliency plans as needed. Additionally, AMPLY is available to perform onsite operations maintenance services, and invest in technology upgrades as the needs of a fleet evolve. For any transit authority, guaranteeing that all of our buses are ready for their morning roll-out is critical. Electric buses bring a new process to our operations and electricity use, and we knew we were better off, in the long run, leveraging the expertise of AMPLY’s model. They helped us pinpoint the financial, operational, and equipment improvements we could make to realize 40 percent savings and ensure uptime for our riders who depend on our bus service to go about their daily lives. As we expand our EV fleet, we look forward to working with AMPLY to realize even greater savings.—Steve Ponte, Chief Operating Officer of Tri Delta Transit Tri Delta Transit launched its electric bus program in 2018. AMPLY was brought in during the fall of 2019 to simplify Tri Delta’s charging operations and address challenges presented by previously installed hardware. Tri Delta Transit equipment includes buses from Proterra and BYD and associated charging infrastructure systems. This project illustrates how the AMPLY offering is agnostic to a variety of buses and chargers regardless of manufacturer. Overall, AMPLY manages charging operations for a variety of customers, including an electric school bus fleet demonstration in New York City, and through preferred partnerships with electric bus manufacturer BYD, and the subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Company, Pacific Current.
|2020/4/9 11:51||Green Car Congress||
ABB, Hydrogène de France jointly to manufacture megawatt-scale fuel cell systems capable of powering ocean-going vessels
ABB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hydrogène de France to manufacture jointly megawatt-scale fuel cell systems capable of powering ocean-going vessels (OGVs). The MOU between ABB and hydrogen technologies specialist Hydrogène de France (HDF) envisages close collaboration on the assembly and production of the fuel cell power plant for marine applications. Building on an existing collaboration announced on 27 Jun 2018 with Ballard Power Systems, the leading global provider of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell solutions, ABB and HDF intend to optimize fuel cell manufacturing capabilities to produce a megawatt-scale power plant for marine vessels. The new system will be based on the megawatt-scale fuel cell power plant jointly developed by ABB and Ballard, and will be manufactured at HDF’s new facility in Bordeaux, France. With the use of renewables to produce the hydrogen, the entire energy chain can be clean. HDF is very excited to cooperate with ABB to assemble and produce megawatt-scale fuel cell systems for the marine market based on Ballard technology.—Damien Havard, CEO of HDF With the ever-increasing demand for solutions that enable sustainable, responsible shipping, we are confident that fuel cells will play an important role in helping the marine industry meet CO2 reduction targets. Signing the MOU with HDF brings us a step closer to making this technology available for powering ocean-going vessels.—Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports With shipping responsible for about 2.5% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, there is an increased pressure for the maritime industry to transition to more sustainable power sources. The International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency responsible for regulating shipping, has set a global target to cut annual emissions by at least 50% by 2050 from 2008 levels. Among alternative emission-free technologies, ABB is already well advanced in collaborative development of fuel cell systems for ships. Fuel cells are widely considered as one of the most promising solutions for reducing harmful pollutants. Already today, this zero-emission technology is capable of powering ships sailing short distances, as well as supporting auxiliary energy requirements of larger vessels. ABB’s eco-efficiency portfolio, which enables sustainable smart cities, industries and transport systems to mitigate climate change and conserve non-renewable resources, accounted for 57% of total revenues in 2019. The company is on track to reach 60% of revenues by the end of 2020.
|2020/4/9 11:30||Green Car Congress||
Fraunhofer IWKS starts project BReCycle on efficient recycling of fuel cells
A consortium led by the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies IWKS and including Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH, MAIREC Edelmetallgesellschaft mbH, Electrocycling GmbH and KLEIN Anlagenbau AG, is developing a closed-loop recycling concept specifically for PEM fuel cells. The “BReCycle” project is funded within the 7th Energy Research Program “Innovations for the Energy Transition” of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Example of a fuel cell stack. Copyright: Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH. Fuel cells, especially polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), are already used in hydrogen-powered automobiles. With the increasing spread of this technology, a larger quantity of this type of fuel cell will have reached the end of its life by 2030 at the latest. Due to the high proportion of valuable technology metals and ecological considerations, an efficient recycling of materials contained in PEM fuel cells is necessary. However, a recycling process tailor-made for fuel cells is not yet available on an industrial scale. The aim of the project is to develop a sustainable process for the processing of fuel cells, with which high-quality material fractions can be generated, especially from the electrode coating, and the polymer membrane can be separated. The valuable precious metals such as platinum and ruthenium are particularly important for the recycling market of fuel cells. General recycling processes for precious metals that are currently in use are also designed for these metals, in which polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are currently largely processed. Platinum and ruthenium, as well as other valuable and rare metals, are recovered in pyrometallurgical metal recycling processes. However, the pyrometallurgical recycling of fuel cells produces highly toxic fluorine compounds from the fluorinated nafion membrane, which means that a large-format conversion requires very complex waste gas purification. Up to now, there are no recycling processes that can be used efficiently on an industrial scale to sufficiently separate the polymer membranes prior to melt preparation, thus eliminating the risk of hydrogen fluoride formation in the melting process. In addition, base metals such as steel or aluminium are largely lost in the process. The BReCycle project aims to develop a new approach that ensures a high degree of recovery of the raw materials used and is superior in terms of environmental compatibility (especially energy balance) and economic efficiency. At the same time, aspects of product design (Design for Recycling and Design for Circularity) are to be investigated and implemented in order to increase the recyclability of fuel cells and to promote the use of secondary materials in the sense of resource protection and to develop new business models on this basis. The recycling process itself will be designed for complete fuel cell modules as well as for individual components. To this end, a pre-dismantling process will first be developed to remove components such as electrical connections or cables. Electrohydraulic fragmentation (EHF) will be used for further selective comminution. Here, the pre-dismantled assemblies are placed in a reactor filled with water and fragmented material-selectively by means of shock waves (pressure waves generated by electrical discharge). In particular, the platinum-containing, catalytically active layer on the electrodes is to be separated from the plastic. The materials fragmented in this way can then be separated into the material fractions catalyst powder and graphite as well as polymer and metals by simple physical separation processes such as sieving and filtering. For the separation of the polymer membrane from the metal freight, an identification by means of IR sensor technology and corresponding component-selective discharge is tested in the process. The metal fractions obtained can then be efficiently processed using established metallurgical treatment methods. Due to the desired high concentration of the various recyclable materials such as platinum, ruthenium and other metals from the catalytically active layer, a significantly more efficient use of chemicals is required, for example, in a downstream wet-chemical processing. The saving of process steps through the specific treatment of previously separated recyclables results in a significant ecological and especially economic advantage compared to other processes. The project approach aims at a high purity of all generated fractions by material-selective digestion of the product allowing a more effective separation of the fractions. The target fraction is the concentrated precious metal, which can then be recycled. After completion of the project, the knowledge gained will be successively incorporated into the processing procedures for PEM fuel cells at the participating industrial partners. The results of the process development also serve as a basis for further research work in order to be able to establish a take-back and recycling solution including the realization of specific new plant modules. Parallel to this, innovative circular economy business models are to be further concretized together with all project partners in accordance with the knowledge gained and the market situation.
|2020/4/9 11:00||Green Car Congress||
Digital-first process enables Ricardo to deliver vehicle certification remotely
In order to continue the development and testing of future vehicles during the COVID-19 lockdown, Ricardo has implemented a world-first in virtual vehicle certification whereby automaker clients and certification bodies can observe tests via a secure, live 3-way feed to the automation and data management systems of Ricardo’s advanced test facilities. With many customer and independent test facilities temporarily closed due to the implementation of local, regional and national lockdowns associated with the control of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ricardo’s ‘digital-first’ strategy is enabling the company’s advanced emissions test and certification facilities to offer an extremely valuable continued service to clients. Through the virtual vehicle certification service, both customers and independent witnessing bodies are able to observe tests and to validate quality checks that replicate processes—such as checking tire pressures—which would usually be done in person. This enables the witnessing body and client representatives to participate fully in the test and certification via a secure connection, thus removing the need to travel. The client merely needs to arrange shipping of the vehicle to the Ricardo test facility; all other interactions throughout the test and certification process are conducted remotely. The first virtual certification tests were carried out in March 2020 on behalf of a British automaker, and independently witnessed by a European agency. Further tests are now being planned for a wide range of clients and independent witnessing authorities, focusing on both complete vehicle certification and e-machine certification, to be executed remotely via Ricardo’s UK technical centres at Shoreham, West Sussex, and at Leamington Spa in the Midlands. In addition to providing a means for customers to maintain a throughput of crucial vehicle test and certification work during the Coronavirus crisis, the process has significant advantages that are likely to endure beyond the current lockdowns. As a result of completing the review of the facility, the required adherence to test protocols and the resultant overall data pack required for any certification test activity, it has been possible to identify significant elements that can be completed remotely and in advance of testing. Even in more normal circumstances, this new approach may be particularly attractive both to customers and to witnessing authorities, particularly where the additional flexibility might be of value due to time restrictions or schedule congestion. As such, the virtual vehicle certification service is likely to be attractive to clients after the present restrictions are lifted, particularly for those located at distance from test facilities and in different time zones. In addition to the new capability for virtual vehicle certification, the remote accessibility of the Ricardo vehicle emissions test facilities is proving extremely attractive to customers for more general test operations. With customer sites necessarily closed for reasons of social distancing, the configuration of Ricardo facilities enables work to continue safely and efficiently for all concerned. Over recent weeks, there have been a large number of temporary site closures across the automotive sector in compliance with regional and national lockdown regulations aimed at tackling the Coronavirus crisis. Through our investment in remote testing capabilities, Ricardo has been able to quickly adapt our processes in order to be able to deliver business-critical testing requirements for our global customer base during this unprecedented lockdown period. This digital-first approach protects our workforce as well as those of the customer and independent witnessing body, while enabling much-needed emissions testing and certification to continue efficiently and effectively.—Ricardo test operations director Richard Murphy
|2020/4/9 10:30||Green Car Congress||
Volkswagen Group Components and DU-POWER establish JV for flexible quick-charging stations in China
Volkswagen Group Components and the start-up Shanghai DU-POWER New Energy Technical Co., Ltd. plan to form a joint venture to produce flexible quick charging stations in China. Series production of the flexible quick charging stations is currently scheduled to start in the second half of 2020. A comprehensive charging infrastructure is the key to the success of e-vehicles. The planned joint venture with DU-POWER therefore represents a significant milestone as we continue to make progress along the path to electric mobility. The innovative design of our flexible quick charging station has huge potential in China, not least because of the rapid growth of electric mobility.—Thomas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen Group Components The electrification of the global automotive industry is a megatrend. As an ambitious high-tech company with a competent technical development core, we will work with Volkswagen to create a solid foundation to support the success of electric vehicles. The partnership for establishing a joint venture in China enables us to collaborate close on the technical aspects of the project to provide flexible, reliable and efficient solutions for the charging infrastructure.—Yong Kang, CEO of Shanghai DU-POWER New Energy Technical Following the conclusion of the requisite approval process with authorities, including merger control, Volkswagen AG and Shanghai DU-POWER New Energy Technical Co., Ltd. will ultimately each own 50% of the shares in the joint venture. The new company will be located in the Suzhou Wuzhong Economic & Technological Development Zone, near Shanghai, China. As previously announced, flexible quick charging stations will also be produced at the Hannover site in future. Production is to begin this year. With compact dimensions, the flexible quick charging station can be installed almost anywhere it’s needed or where a charging infrastructure is not yet in place. When connected to the low-voltage grid, the station becomes a permanent charging point without the additional cost and effort required for a comparable fixed quick charging station. The built-in battery pack can store a buffer of energy meaning that it can be disconnected from the grid. This then eases the strain on the power grid, particularly at peak times. If electricity generated from renewable sources is fed into the charging station and temporarily stored there, the station enables carbon-neutral mobility. To ensure the sustainable use of valuable resources, the charging station is also designed to be able to use old batteries from electric vehicles as energy accumulators in future. The system can charge e-vehicles with up to 150 kW.