• May 24th 2011 at 10:01AM
  • 4
The Georgia Institute of Technology and Ford Motor Company Fund have partnered to convert a school bus to a hydraulic hybrid vehicle that runs on recycled biofuel. Conducted by Georgia Tech, the project is financed by a $50,000 Ford College Community Challenge Grant. The project focuses on converting existing school buses into hydraulic hybrids, which could reduce emissions and lower transportation costs for schools.
Shortly before lunchtime on May 13th, students at Mary Lin Elementary School in Atlanta, GA pitched in by painting the "Green Eco School Bus" green and organizing a drive to collect used cooking oil for processing into biodiesel to fuel the bus.

Michael Leamy, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, and his students designed and developed the 16-passenger bus' hydraulic hybrid system. Installation of the fuel-saving system is nearly complete.

[Source: Georgia Tech]
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Georgia Tech and Ford collaborate on "Green Eco School Bus"

The Georgia Institute of Technology and the Ford Motor Company Fund are partnering on the nation's first conversion of a school bus to a hydraulic hybrid vehicle that runs on recycled biofuel. Atlanta Public Schools donated the bus for the project.

At 11:30 a.m. on May 13, students at Mary Lin Elementary School are painting the "Green Eco School Bus" green and organizing a drive to collect used cooking oil for processing into biodiesel, a renewable energy source.

Conducted by Georgia Tech, the project is financed by a $50,000 Ford College Community Challenge Grant, one of five given annually for a student-led project that matches university resources with an urgent community need related to sustainability. This project focuses on converting existing school buses into hydraulic hybrids, which could lower greenhouse emissions and reduce transportation costs for schools.

"Together with Georgia Tech and Atlanta Public Schools, we are taking innovation from the classroom to the community," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "This is a noteworthy example of the types of programs we are bringing to Atlanta as part of our new Operation Goodwill partnership with local Ford and Lincoln dealers with the goal of expanding our engagement with this community."

Michael Leamy, Georgia Tech assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and his students have designed and developed the hydraulic hybrid system for the 16-passenger school bus, and its installation is nearly complete. This project also includes a cost-benefit analysis of a large-scale conversion of a school bus fleet to hydraulic hybrid powertrains designed to recover lost braking energy.

"We expect our research will lead to cleaner, more efficient school buses that will help school districts like APS significantly reduce fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions," Leamy said.

Atlanta Public School officials are using the project to educate the next generation about green energy.

"Our students are eager to learn about new ways to care for the environment," said Brian Mitchell, principal, Mary Lin Elementary. "The Green Eco School Bus turns a theoretical concept into a fun and exciting reality that stimulates their learning."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 4 Comments
      Marcopolo
      • 4 Years Ago
      Biofuel from used fry oil, hardly a new story. But, well done Georgia Tech, and Ford Motors for sponsoring these College Community Challenge Grant's. Ford Motors also sponsors hundreds of other research, education and community development projects, including the impressive 20,000 Ford employees and retirees in 44 countries provided more than 100,000 hours of work on more than 1,000 community service projects. Each year, for the last years Ford's non- profit expenditure has grown. This years budget will be in excess of $ US 40 million.
        Bertman
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Actually the fry oil/biodiesel is only a side note- the real story is about the hydraulic hybrid idea. I love this technology and it is a perfect match for a school bus, as it stores energy used in braking and releases it to help in acceleration. This is the type of driving that a school bus does all day. UPS has been experimenting with it for some time now.
      Bob
      • 4 Years Ago
      This would be an amazing transformation for our school transportation systems! To save more energy and keep the earth greener, school systems could use an On site detailing company to come and detail the cars that way the buses will not drive in multiple directions get get clean, someone will come to them! To find more information about on site auto detailing http://www.onsitedetailing.com/!
      xxxZOMBIExxx
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can't wait to see it running!
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