When Spain-based Opbrid Transporte Sostenible S.L. chief executive officer, Roger Bedell, threw this quote into the company's press release regarding its overhead rapid-charging system for hybrid and electric buses, we couldn't help ourselves and immediately went digging for more:
Bedell, speaking about the company's revolutionary Busbaar – an overhead, pantograph-based rapid-charging station for buses – is ecstatic for good reason. You see, the Busbaar system leverages the rapid charge capability of lithium-titanate batteries and employs an end-of-route high-power charging (250 kW) system that operates without plugging in. Its simplistic operation could forever change the bus industry. The Busbaar system functions like this: as buses pull in to either pick up or drop off passengers, the overhead charger swings into action. Within five to six minutes, the bus' charge is sufficient to continue on to the next stop where it repeats the process again.With this system, it is possible to change most of the urban bus systems in the world from petroleum to electricity simply by changing diesel buses to fast charged hybrids and installing these charging stations. We can do this now, and we need to do this now.
Opbrid suggests that properly outfitted hybrid and electric buses, charged by the Busbaar system, could handle the daily task of transporting people to-and-fro without using a drop of diesel. Now, that's revolutionary. Of course, there's the slight issue of installing all of these undoubtedly expensive stations across the globe and outfitting buses to be Busbaar-capable, but both of those potential problems could be overcome. Right? Okay, it might take decades before Busbaar revolutionizes the industry, but the system still looks promising to us. Hit the jump to watch the Opbrid system in action and check out the company's release that describes the Busbaar overhead rapid-charging station in detail. Hat tip to David!
Opbrid Bůsbaar Fast Charging Station Makes Electric Buses Practical Now
Today, Opbrid SL unveiled its Bůsbaar fast charging station for hybrid and electric urban buses. When the bus arrives at the fast charging station, the Opbrid Bůsbaar swings out over the bus, and pantographs on the bus raise up to connect to the bar. The bus charges for 5-7 minutes which is enough for the bus to run 100% on electricity to the other end of the route (10-20km).
October 5, 2010
Many electric and hybrid-electric buses can be upgraded to use up to 100% electricity from the grid instead of diesel simply by installing an Opbrid Bůsbaar fast charging station at each end of a bus route and fast charging, long lasting, AltairNano lithium titanate batteries on the bus. By fast charging these batteries for 5 or 6 minutes at each end of a bus route, a bus can run throughout the day on 100% electricity from the grid. This breakthrough gives cities an exciting new option for clean, quiet, sustainable, electric public transportation as a low cost 'drop in' replacement to diesel buses, all the while saving money and requiring no overhead wires. (Video)
Reliably built by the highly regarded Swiss electric rail supplier Furrer+Frey and Germany's Schunk, the Opbrid Bůsbaar is simple and safe. It can be installed easily in any location, since it is unobtrusive and swings away from the road when not in use. Unlike building a tram or trolleybus system, the Bůsbaar can be installed in days at a tiny fraction of the cost.
As Opbrid CEO Roger Bedell says, "With this system, it is possible to change most of the urban bus systems in the world from petroleum to electricity simply by changing diesel buses to fast charged hybrids and installing these charging stations. We can do this now, and we need to do this now".
The Opbrid Bůsbaar is based on technology from the European electric rail industry. Their long experience of moving very large amounts of electricity from overhead lines to electric locomotives has resulted in heavy duty components that are practically indestructible, with design lifetimes measured in decades instead of years. Opbrid has partnered with world class companies Schunk and Furrer+Frey to provide these components. Besides their exceptional reliability and safety, parts availability is also assured far into the future.
The Opbrid Bůsbaar was designed to provide a large target for docking the bus to the charging station. This large physical target makes it easy for the bus driver to line up the bus to the charging station in all types of weather and situations. This is especially useful in difficult situations, and the Opbrid Bůsbaar was designed to work reliably anywhere in the world.
All electrical connections are overhead to eliminate high voltage risks, and reduce vandalism. To avoid any possibility of collision between the roadside portion of the charger and tall vehicles, the charger swings away from the road when not in use. Additionally, the charger is electrically grounded when retracted, providing a further layer of safety protection.
Converting buses from diesel to electricity from the grid has a host of advantages, not the least of which is that it is less expensive over the lifetime of the bus. Other advantages of electricity are more stable prices and sustainable non-CO2 sources such as domestic wind, solar and hydro power. Electric buses are clean, quiet, sustainable transportation, and the Opbrid Bůsbaar makes fast charged electric and hybrid-electric buses an exciting new option for cities around the world.
About Opbrid S.L.
Opbrid Bůsbaar is a brand of Opbrid Transporte Sostenible S.L., based in Granada, Spain that is focused on providing products and services to enable the emerging fast charged bus industry in Europe and worldwide. We believe that the fast-charge concept will revolutionize the urban bus, changing it from a loud, polluting, CO2 emitting vehicle into clean, quiet, sustainable transportation. For more information on the Bůsbaar and fast charged buses in general, visit www.opbrid.com