Bus power – LSBU testing low-pressure hydrogen as the way forward

Hydrogen-powered London bus

24/11/2020. A ground-breaking research project to test new ways of storing hydrogen fuel in buses is today being launched by academics from London South Bank University (LSBU), School of the Built Environment and Architecture. If successful, the results could represent a leap forward in the feasibility of using hydrogen to power buses, heavy goods vehicles, trains, marine transport and aircraft.

LSBU researchers will investigate using hydride to absorb, release and store hydrogen. This would remove the need for the large high-pressure cylinders currently used to hydrogen on buses.

The LSBU project aims to deliver:

  • Improved safety with hydrogen stored at lower pressures in smaller cylinders on buses instead of the large high-pressure cylinders currently used.
  • More space on buses because large high-pressure cylinders are replaced by smaller cylinders.
  • Reduced power consumption, with the new storage system also providing cooling power for air conditioning.

LSBU has been awarded £60,000 of government funding from Innovate UK for the project, and will work with industry experts in thermal management, Ricardo, on design and analysis in the first phase. This will be followed by the development of a new prototype for storing hydrogen in the second phase of the project.

Professor Yunting Ge, LSBU Professor of Building Services Engineering, said, “Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles produce very low carbon emissions and no air pollution which makes them vital to cleaning our air and tackling climate change. But important concerns have been raised about the size, cost and safety of hydrogen storage in buses.

“Our LSBU project aims to develop a safer and cheaper way of storing hydrogen which takes up less space than the large high-pressure hydrogen tanks that are used in buses today. This is another example of LSBU’s ground-breaking research work to curb climate change, cut carbon emissions and clean our air.”

More information

Contact: Joe Derrett, media manager LSBU, +44 7710 559 639, derrettj@lsbu.ac.uk


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