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The world's first hydrogen fuel cell powered waste collection vehicle is used in Berlin. Germany

By News Editor / Updated: 03 Sep 2015

The Berlin waste management company (BSR) is trialling a waste collection truck with an electrically driven waste collection body and lifter makeup. The power is provided by a hydrogen fuel cell, reducing fuel consumption during waste collection by up to 30%.

Background & Objectives

In Berlin, the German capital with a population of more than 3.5 million people, about 1.3 million tons of municipal waste are collected and properly recycled or disposed of by the BSR - the municipal waste management company - every year. In order to make waste collection more energy efficient and quieter the BSR has trialled a vehicle that powers garbage collection (i.e. emptying the waste containers and compressing the waste) from a hydrogen fuel cell. The project is carried out in cooperation with the Berlin Company Heliocentris Energiesysteme GmbH and the assembly manufacturer FAUN. No carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates are emitted.

The German Federal Ministry of Transportation supports the development of the prototype under the National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) with about 800,000 Euro.

The vehicle is currently tested in daily operation; the total test duration is 24 months. The demonstration is aimed to show that the waste collection truck works with the same performance as a conventional diesel vehicle. The only emission of the fuel cell is water. In addition, the diesel engine can be turned off while loading; this contributes significantly to the reduction of noise pollution, relieving residents. Driving from one loading position to another is still carried out by the conventional chassis engine. However a later hybridisation of the traction drive should not be ruled out.



Partners in this project are FAUN, the BSR and Heliocentris AG. FAUN is a leader in waste collection vehicles and sweepers in Europe and provides the technical know-how of the hybrid approach to energy recovery.>Heliocentris supplied the energy system, consisting of the hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen storage and control system. Faun integrated these components with its supercaps (energy storage) and the start-stop-automatic. FAUN is also responsible for the energy management of the overall system.

The BSR mainly uses the collection vehicle in selected test areas in the inner city of Berlin. The basis for this concept is the current electrical drive of ROTOPRESS DUALPOWER.



This project demonstrates that with the chosen technique, efficient waste collection logistics is possible. If the fuel cell operation proves to be robust, easily, and economically viable then a fuel cell could replace the diesel-powered auxiliary drive in various machines.



Photo Source: Berliner Stadtreinigung

Clean and energy-efficient vehicles
Sebastian Langer
drive train – electric
drive train – fuel cells
monitoring / evaluation
reduction - air pollutants - exhaust gas treatment
vehicle – auxiliary drives
17 Dec 2012
03 Sep 2015
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