India's first solar-powered renewable fuelling station, supplied by Air Products, was inaugurated recently at an event with chief guest Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy, in conjunction with Shri Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Minister of New and Renewable Energy.
Part of a mass public transport bus fueling and vehicle demonstration program, the SmartFuel® station generates 100 percent renewable hydrogen from solar energy via an electrolyzer. It is located at the Solar Energy Center near Delhi and part of a project managed by the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE). The project was also implemented by India's University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) and funded by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of the Government of India.
"As a member of industry, Air Products is proud to be involved in a program that has received such crucial validation and support from public sector, educational institute and the regulatory authorities," commented Ravi Subramanian, business development manager-Asia for Air Products' Hydrogen Energy Systems. "This project is an important, progressive step towards unlocking the potential of hydrogen as a sustainable transportation fuel and alternative energy source, not just for India but the rest of the world."
UPES is executing this project and it is entirely funded by MNRE. "Although this is a demonstration project, this will be a major stepping stone for India to move towards the hydrogen economy," says Dr. Niranjan Raje, former director of Indian Oil and the Principal Investigator for this project.
With the addition of this SmartFuel® station, Air Products now has three hydrogen fueling stations operating in India. Air Products India installed, and in January 2012 commissioned, a hydrogen fueling dispenser in Pragati Maidan, Delhi to serve a fleet of hydrogen powered auto rickshaws. The three-wheeled hydrogen-powered fleet transports visitors at the Pragati Maidan, where many large public exhibitions are held. Air Products was also a key player in the opening of India's first hydrogen/HCNG fueling station several years ago at a research and development center in Faridabad, south of New Delhi.
Worldwide, Air Products is the leading supplier of hydrogen to refineries to assist in producing cleaner burning transportation fuels and has vast experience in the hydrogen fueling industry. In fact, several sites today for certain hydrogen fueling applications are fueling at rates of over 75,000 refills per year. Use of the company's fueling technology is increasing and is over 1,000,000 hydrogen fills per year. The company has been involved in over 180 hydrogen fueling projects worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, cell towers, material handling equipment, and even submarines have been fueled with trend-setting Air Products technologies. Details on Air Products' hydrogen fueling station technologies can be viewed at www.airproducts.com/h2energy.
Air Products has more than 60 years of hydrogen experience and an extensive patent portfolio in hydrogen dispensing technology. The company provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen and a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations can be delivered to a site via truck or pipeline, or produced by natural gas reformation, biomass conversion, or by electrolysis, including electrolysis driven by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.