Vehicle Projects Inc serves the transport industry by developing prototype heavy fuelcell vehicles that address societal issues such as environmental quality, time and energy efficiency, and energy security. Its core in-house activity is intellectual property creation through project conception, engineering design, and project management.
In 2009, Vehicle Projects Inc, along with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, successfully integrated the fuel cell system and sub-systems into the locomotive, resulting in a fully functional and operational fuel cell hybrid switch locomotive. BNSF provided the location for the system integration and initial testing of the completed switch locomotive. The government and BNSF provided the funding for testing at TTCI, demonstration in Los Angeles, and power-to-grid demonstration at Hill Air Force Base.
In 2008, Vehicle Projects LLC, with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, designed, developed and fabricated system and sub-system modules for a future 250kW fuel cell hybrid switch locomotive. BNSF provided the locomotive platform and location for the modification and fabrication of the module components. The government provided the fuel cells and sub-system components.
In 2005, led by Vehicle Projects LLC, an international consortium developed a 160-kW, 23-tonne fuelcell mine loader, a key production element of underground mining. The project is nearly complete as an innovative technical development project. We expect the fuelcell loader to be demonstrated in an underground gold mine in late 2008. Based on the empirically determined duty cycle, its powerplant is a fuelcell-battery hybrid using 90-kW (nominal) PEM fuelcell stacks supplemented by a 70-kW transient-power nickel metal-hydride battery. A fuelcell-battery hybrid power-plant design was chosen because of high but narrow power peaks in the duty cycle and the ability to recover some of the vehicle kinetic and potential energy as it descends ramps. The powerplant was capable of delivering 70 kW of continuous net power and 140 kW peak net power, which compares favorably to the diesel version of 123-kW peak net power.
In 2002, Vehicle Projects developed the world’s first fuelcell-powered underground mining locomotive utilizing reversible metal-hydride hydrogen storage. The 3.6 tonne locomotive endured extensive analytical and surface testing before its demonstration in a working gold mine owned and operated by Placer Dome Inc in Ontario.