A waste management company in Herten, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany has commissioned a DAF CF 340 hydrogen fuel cell conversion truck as part of the HECTOR project (Hydrogen Waste Collection Vehicles in North West Europe) funded by the EU.
The aim of the project, which includes seven European trials in total, is to study how hydrogen trucks can be an effective solution to reduce emissions from garbage vehicles.
In February 2022 and also as part of the HECTOR initiative, Aberdeen City Council unveiled the The UK’s first refuse collection vehicle (RCV) – a Mercedes-Benz Econic with a 250 kW Hyzon electric motor mated to an Allison 3000 Series™ transmission combined with a 45 kW fuel cell.
Before the demonstration 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 the standard diesel drive to hydrogen was necessary. This was carried out by E-Trucks Europe, a specialist manufacturer of hydrogen electric commercial vehicles based in Belgium, together with Wietholt, an authorized DAF dealer in Dorsten, Germany. Wietholt is also a service partner of Allison Transmission.
In order to convert the diesel truck to hydrogen propulsion, the vehicle had to be completely emptied. Almost the entire original powertrain – engine, fuel tanks and exhaust system – has been removed from the DAF truck. Only the Allison 3200™ fully automatic transmission was retained as an integral part of the drive concept.
The Allison 3200 fully automatic 6-speed transmission, already developed for use in refuse collection vehicles in addition to other applications, has been optimized by Allison and E-Trucks Europe application engineers to meet the requirements of the DAF fuel cell truck.
Allison’s Continuous Power Technology delivers smooth, uninterrupted power changes and faster acceleration. The patented torque converter multiplies engine torque when starting and accelerating. In addition, it protects the entire drivetrain from vibrations and jolts during gear changes. Precise approach speed and precision adjustment make it easy to collect bins in narrow aisles, as well as working at extremely low speeds.
A fuel cell module was installed in the old engine compartment of the vehicle. The diesel tanks have been removed and replaced with batteries that power an electric motor coupled to the Allison transmission with hydrogen energy. The four hydrogen tanks on the roof of the vehicle have a capacity of 20 kg, sufficient for a range of around 200 km (about 124 miles). Refueling at 350 bar takes just under 15 minutes.
The 28-ton, 6 x 2 front loader with steered trailing axle is used by one person to collect commercial waste from businesses in the Ruhr metropolitan area. In addition to the new hydrogen waste collection vehicle, 15 hydrogen cars are already in service at AGR.
The acquisition of new climate-friendly trucks equipped with hydrogen engines is planned. AGR is currently planning to build its own hydrogen production facility and its own high-performance fueling station, which will be suitable for both municipal H2 garbage vehicles and private H2 cars.
“This particular type of propulsion is ideal for use in the waste disposal sector due to its climate protection potential. And it demonstrates once again that Allison transmissions can be used with all types of fuel,” said Stephan Marker, Regional Sales Manager, Allison Transmission. “Allison Automatics is known for its associations with diesel engines. Yet they are suitable for both alternative fuel vehicles and alternatively powered vehicles.