Solution for a mobility turnaround in the countryside: public transport is now also becoming electric in the countryside

– New charging infrastructure with flywheel energy storage enables switch to e-buses in rural areas even without expansion of power grids
– Consortium tests pantograph fast-charging stations for electric buses in rural areas in Bensheim region
– Adaptive Balancing Power from Darmstadt supplies key technology
– Buffered-HLL” project (buffered high-performance charging) receives 2.3 million euros in funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection

Medium-sized, commercial bus companies form an important cornerstone of local public transport (LPT) in rural areas. However, electrification along the route poses major challenges for power grid operators and transport companies. That’s why, together with a consortium from research and industry, we have started building a new type of energy storage and charging network for electric buses in rural areas. In Bensheim, a new type of pantograph fast-charging station (high-power charger) is being installed at the bus station (ZOB) to enable safe, economical and flexible intermediate charging of electric buses. The special feature: by using a modern high-performance flywheel energy storage unit, the e-buses can be charged on the route without having to extend the power grid.

Solution for the mobility turnaround in the area
The aim of the Buffered HLL project is therefore to build and test the novel charging infrastructure, which enables flexible charging processes in the bus depot and along the route without massive grid expansion. The pantograph charging station with use of the high-capacity flywheel energy storage system will go into operation in September. The test phase in regular operation is scheduled for 18 months. After successful testing, the infrastructure model will be transferred to other regions.

“By using our storage and charging system, we offer transport operators maximum flexibility and reliability. E-buses can multiply their routes and be deployed as needed at any time regardless of the expansion of the power grid,” explains our CEO Dr. Hendrik Schaede-Bodenschatz.

Strong consortium for the mobility revolution
Together with us, four other consortium partners are jointly implementing the Buffered-HLL project. The consortium leader is Isabellenhütte Heusler from Dillenburg (Hesse), a leading manufacturer of measurement technology products. With a new generation of direct current meters, the metering specialist enables recording of energy quantities in compliance with calibration laws as well as cloud-based provision of all collected data, which ensures intelligent and secure billing.

The bus operation is realized by Verkehrsgesellschaft Gersprenztal mbH (VGG) based in Reichelsheim (Odw.) and Bensheim. VGG is a medium-sized company that operates an extensive route network in the Bergstrasse, Odenwald and Darmstadt-Dieburg districts with around 180 employees and 90 buses.

CuroCon GmbH from Zwingenberg implements the entire power electronics as well as the communication between the charging infrastructure and the bus. The engineering service provider has extensive experience in the field of charging infrastructure and in the high-tech automation of industrial plants and applications in the stationary, mobile and energy sectors.

The independent Reiner Lemoine Institute, based in Berlin, is providing scientific support for the project and has already conducted studies on the electrification of buses in Berlin. The team is dedicated to application-oriented research for the energy and transport transition in Germany. Among other things, it is investigating the effects of fast charging on the power grid and how buses and fast charging stations could be used economically. The transferability of the concept to other usage scenarios is also the subject of the investigations.

Press Release:
Solution for mobility turnaround in the countryside: Buffered-HLL project tests pantograph fast-charging stations with high-performance flywheel energy storage for e-buses in rural areas (German)

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