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Ballard fuel-cell modules to power trucks in Alberta hydrogen project

AZETEC will test hydrogen's ability to fuel the province's freight transportation sector.


64 tonne B-train tractor-trailer operated by Bison Transport.
PHOTO: BALLARD

VANCOUVER — Ballard Power Systems is providing next-generation FCmove-HD fuel cell modules to power two tractor-trailer trucks as part of a $15 million Alberta project.

The Zero-Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration (AZETEC) project will test hydrogen’s ability to fuel the province’s freight transportation sector as part of a first step in exploring a potential made-in-Alberta hydrogen economy.

Ballard, the hydrogen fuel-cell developer based in Burnaby, BC,  will provide six of the fuel cell modules – each generating 70 kilowatts (kW) of power – with three modules to be installed in each truck. They’ll utilize Ballard’s LCS technology, planned for commercial availability this year.

Freight transportation accounts for almost 70% of diesel fuel demand in Alberta and contributes about 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) per year in the province.

The AZETEC project is to run until mid-2022 and will involve the design and manufacture of two heavy duty, extended range trucks that will move freight year-round between Edmonton and Calgary.

The 64 tonne tractor-trailers operated by Trimac Transportation and Bison Transport will be capable of traveling up to 430 miles (700 kilometres) between refuellings.

By the end of the project, the trucks will have travelled more than 300,000 miles (500,000 kilometres) and carried about 12 million tonne-miles (20 million tonne-kilometres) of freight.

“The tractor-trailer trucks being used in the AZETEC project are the first Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles – or FCEVs – of this size and capacity to be built and tested anywhere globally,” said Rob Campbell, Ballard’s chief commercial officer.

The AZETEC project builds on more than a year’s worth of research, data analysis and scenario modelling done by the Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) Initiative. Other project participants include: Zen Clean Energy Solutions, project manager; Dana Inc., a supplier of heavy duty electric drive axles; Nordresa, a Quebec-based electric drive train manufacturer; Freightliner/Daimler, a manufacturer of truck bodies; Air Products and Praxair, hydrogen manufacturers; and Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corp., a hydrogen solutions and infrastructure provider.

Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing more than $7.3 million to the project, which is led by the Alberta Motor Transportation Association. ERA is providing the funding through its competitive BEST Challenge program, which targets technologies that demonstrate the potential to reduce GHG emissions in Alberta and secure the Province’s success in a lower-carbon economy.

 

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