The Abfallentsorgungs-Gesellschaft Ruhrgebiet mbH (AGR), a waste management company in Herten, North Rhine-Westphalia, has submitted an application to participate in the EU-funded HECTOR (Hydrogen Waste Collection Vehicles in North-West Europe) project.
The project aims to investigate how hydrogen-fuelled trucks can be an effective solution to reducing emissions in refuse vehicles.
Before the demo vehicle, a DAF CF 340 front loader with a Millennium XXL 40 body from Terberg HS, could be used to collect commercial waste, a conversion from standard diesel propulsion to hydrogen was required. This was carried out by E-Trucks Europe, a specialized manufacturer of hydrogen-electric commercial vehicles based in Belgian, in collaboration with Wietholt, a DAF authorized dealer in Dorsten, Germany. Wietholt is also a service partner of Allison Transmission.
To convert the diesel truck to hydrogen propulsion, the vehicle had to be completely gutted. Almost the entire original powertrain – the engine, fuel tanks and exhaust system – was removed from the DAF truck. There was one exception, however, the Allison 3200™ fully automatic transmission was retained, as it is an integral part of the drive concept.
The Allison 3200 fully automatic transmission had been developed for use in refuse collection vehicles, among other things, and has been optimized by application engineers from Allison and E-Trucks Europe to meet the requirements of the DAF fuel cell truck. Allison’s Continuous Power Technology™ provides smooth, uninterrupted power shifts and faster acceleration. The patented torque converter multiplies the engine torque during start-up and acceleration. Furthermore, it protects the entire powertrain from vibrations and jolts during gear changes. The precise crawling speed and precision tuning facilitate the collection of garbage bins in narrow alleyways and working at extremely low speeds.
A fuel cell module was installed in the former engine compartment of the vehicle. The diesel tanks were dismantled and replaced with battery packs that power an electric motor coupled to the Allison 6-speed automatic transmission with hydrogen energy. The four hydrogen tanks on the roof of the vehicle have a capacity of 20 kilograms, enough for a range of around 200 kilometres (around 124 miles). Refueling at 350 bar takes just under 15 minutes.
The 28 ton front loader, 6 x 2 with steered trailing axle, will be operated by one person to collect commercial waste from companies in the Ruhr Metropolis region. In addition to the new hydrogen-powered refuse collection vehicle, 15 hydrogen cars are already in use at AGR. The procurement of further climate-friendly trucks with hydrogen engines is planned. AGR is currently planning to build its own hydrogen production facility with an attached high-performance filling station, which will be open to both municipal H2 refuse vehicles and private H2 cars.
Additionally, Allison Transmission launched the eGen Power™ 100D electric axle for trucks last year.