Bramble Energy, an innovator in fuel cell technology, has joined forces with Equipmake, Aeristech and the University of Bath to develop a revolutionary new hydrogen double-deck bus integrating Bramble’s revolutionary, low-cost printed circuit board fuel cell (PCBFCTM) technology.
Bramble Energy is the lead partner of the Hydrogen Electric Integrated Drivetrain Initiative (HEIDI) which has received £6.3m funding from the Advance Propulsion Centre as part of the Automotive Transformation Fund. The £6.3m awarded by the government will be matched by industry to a total of £12.7m.
New fuel cell technology for hydrogen doubledecker buses
The UK-based consortium will develop a hydrogen-powered double-deck bus, using a first-of-its-kind fuel cell technology from Bramble Energy; Aeristech’s high efficiency air compressor, and Equipmake’s motor power electronics and battery management system. The powertrain will be optimised through vehicle simulations carried out by the University of Bath.
Bramble Energy has been selected for this project due to its revolutionised fuel cell design and manufacturing process. Using a patented-protected printed circuit board technology, it can create bespoke fuel cell stacks in a matter of days at scale and low-cost. Bramble’s PCB technology eliminates the requirement for a number of complex and costly components found in a typical electrochemical stack, which not only simplifies the supply chain but also does not require vast retooling for manufacture.
The fuel cell stacks can be produced in almost any size and arrangement according to the end customer’s needs. The result is an unparalleled cost-effective solution to supporting and accelerating the decarbonisation of public transport and to improve air quality in towns and cities around the world.
Dr Vidal Bharath, CCO at Bramble Energy commented: “Fuel cell technology can deliver a viable net zero solution that lends itself to commercial vehicles where downtime needs to be limited. This consortium of partners means that we will be able to deliver a world-leading hybridized powertrain, utilising our innovative low cost PCBFC technology for the bus sector, where there needs to be a viable electrified solution that can deliver on cost and scalability.”
In support of ambitions to build an end-to-end supply chain for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the UK, the project is expected to support nearly 500 jobs over the next decade and save nearly 6 million tonnes of CO2 from being emitted.
The UK based consortium in the HEIDI project will support fuel cell manufacturing in the UK for buses and commercial vehicles and, using a novel, low-cost method to manufacture fuel cells will accelerate the cost reduction of fuel cells, their use across society and the reduction of CO2 emissions.
About Bramble Energy
Bramble Energy is powering a Net Zero world – today – and is proving to be a real game changer in solving key challenges in the production of hydrogen fuel cells including: lead times, up-front investment, manufacturing cost and scalability.
Co-founded in 2016 by Dr Tom Mason in the research labs at Imperial College of London and University College of London, Bramble Energy through revolutionary fuel cell design and manufacturing techniques, has developed the unique printed circuit board (PCB) fuel cell – the PCBFC. A patent protected fuel cell that can be manufactured in almost all printed circuit board (PCB) factories worldwide.
Bramble is fast becoming the leading hydrogen fuel cell provider for a cleaner and more sustainable world. Home for Bramble Energy is a state-of-the-art facility in Gatwick, UK, where they have launched their portable power product range and are developing their high-power density, liquid-cooled fuel cell systems under the same scalable low-cost technology platform.
For more information about Bramble Energy visit: https://www.brambleenergy.com/
Equipmake has more than 20 years’ experience developing and integrating industry-leading innovative electric powertrains. It provides the complete solution. Not only is Equipmake a leader in ultra-high performance electric motors, but also complete EV drivetrains and ultra-fast power electronic systems. As well as developing proprietary technology – from motors to inverters – it also offers EV consultancy.
CEO Ian Foley is a highly-experienced engineer who has worked at the pinnacle of global motorsport – from Le Mans to F1 – and Equipmake’s team of expert engineers can take a project from initial specifications through modelling, simulation, design, prototyping, testing and then production in tight timescales.
Using this expertise, Equipmake has become a global leader in the repowering of buses – most recently completing an all-electric repower of the new Routemaster, as well as partnering with First Bus to upgrade its fleet – while the company has also expanded into the electrified aerospace sector, providing state-of-the-art electric motors for Gilmour Space Technologies’ rockets, as well as in VTOL. Equipmake also continues to supply leading technology to electric sports car and hipercar projects too.
Aeristech develops high performance electric motors, inverters and oil-free compressors for a range of innovative applications. The company’s patented motor control technology offers customers greater optimisation of performance, efficiency, power-density and cost in hydrogen fuel cell, heat pumps and industrial compressor applications.
Based in Warwickshire, Aeristech has extensive in-house expertise in motor design, power electronics, and air-bearings supported by high-quality prototyping, test and low-volume manufacturing facilities.
About University of Bath / IAAPS
IAAPS is a Research Institute of the University of Bath, building on a strong track record of delivering propulsion system research with impact at Bath. We are a centre of excellence for collaborative R&D in all aspects of Automotive Propulsion Systems. For the last 40 years our approach has been to align research conducted by some of the world’s best engineers with specific industrial challenges and we are now constructing a world-class research facility on the Bristol & Bath Science Park that will allow IAAPS to deliver impact for years to come.
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