Delhi To Host Test Run Of Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Buses
Buses fuelled by hydrogen will likely begin their initial test runs in Delhi before moving on to other states. According to S.S.V. Ramakumar, Director (R&D), Indian Oil, the buses, built under a joint venture comprising Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and Tata Motors, would operate between Delhi and Faridabad as part of a scientific test experiment before moving on to select “iconic” routes.
What is Hydrogen Fuel Cell?
Clean Energy Conversion:
- Hydrogen fuel cells produce energy by an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, doing away with the requirement for burning in the process. They consequently don’t emit any carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which are a factor in climate change.
- Since heat and water vapour are the only byproducts of the reaction, fuel cells are a clean and environmentally acceptable method of energy conversion.
- Fuel cells contribute to better air quality and a decrease in the negative environmental effects of human activity by preventing the release of pollutants and greenhouse gases.
High Energy Conversion Efficiency:
- Compared to conventional combustion-based technologies, fuel cells have the potential to attain higher energy conversion efficiencies.
- Depending on the kind and design of the fuel cell, internal combustion engines normally function at an efficiency of around 25–30%, whereas fuel cells can achieve efficiencies of up to 60–80%.
- More electrical power is available per unit of fuel used thanks to this improved efficiency, leading to greater energy savings and less resource use.
- Fuel cells are used in a variety of industries, including transportation, stationary power generation, and portable electronics.
- Fuel cells can power electric vehicles (cars, buses, and trains) in transportation and provide advantages over battery-powered vehicles, including greater driving ranges and quicker refuelling periods.
- Fuel cells are a dependable and low-emission kind of power generation that may be used in stationary applications to power and heat homes, buildings, and even entire power grids.
- Electronic equipment can use portable fuel cells as backup power sources to provide longer usage times without the use of conventional batteries.
Quieter and Vibration-Free Operation:
- Fuel cells operate more quietly and with fewer vibrations than combustion-based technologies because they have fewer moving parts.
- Due to this property, fuel cells are suited for applications requiring low noise levels, such as quiet indoor settings, residential locations, or even peaceful outdoor settings.
Scalability and Flexibility:
- Fuel cells are flexible and scalable, and they may be modified to satisfy a variety of power needs.
- To produce power at various scales, from small electronic devices to large-scale power plants or grid-level applications, they can be utilised individually or combined into bigger systems.
- Fuel cell systems are suited for a variety of energy needs thanks to their scalability and adaptability, which also makes it easier for them to be integrated into existing infrastructure.
What goals can India achieve through the implementation of this fuel source?
- Self-sufficiency and affordable clean energy: The Prime Minister’s Hydrogen Vision seeks to guarantee India’s independence in terms of clean energy prices. India may lessen its reliance on imported fossil fuels and lessen the impact of changing fuel prices by encouraging the use of green hydrogen, which can be produced from renewable sources.
- Goals for combating climate change: Green hydrogen is a great source of clean energy that makes it possible to completely decarbonize industries with high emissions that are hard to reduce. For instance, the usage of buses powered by diesel in large commercial transportation increases CO2 emissions dramatically. India may significantly lower its carbon footprint and move closer to its climate change objectives by switching to fuel cell vehicles that operate on green hydrogen.
- Emissions reduction from heavy commercial vehicles: About 12–14% of India’s CO2 and particle emissions come from diesel-powered heavy commercial vehicles, including buses. These emissions are dispersed and challenging to contain. India can effectively minimise greenhouse gas emissions from this industry by substituting green hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles for diesel-powered ones.
- Lower operating costs: Compared to diesel-fueled vehicles, fuel cell vehicles driven by renewable hydrogen have lower operating costs. When expressed in rupees per kilometre, this cost advantage might be profitable for operators of commercial transportation. It encourages the use of fuel cell cars and makes the switch to clean energy sources easier.
- Transistion from net importer to net exporter:India has the ability to make the switch from being a net importer of fossil fuels to a net exporter of clean hydrogen energy by adopting green hydrogen technologies. India can manufacture green hydrogen domestically and export it to other nations thanks to the availability of plentiful renewable resources, diversifying its energy mix and creating job possibilities.
- Global leadership in the hydrogen industry: India has the potential to become a leader in the hydrogen industry thanks to the adoption of green hydrogen and the development of a strong hydrogen ecosystem. India can export green hydrogen to other nations in addition to meeting its own energy demands by becoming into a significant producer of green hydrogen. India may also use its knowledge and talents to export green hydrogen-related machinery and technology, strengthening its position as a global leader in this developing industry.