For the first time in the country, a Hydrogen-powered automobile bus has been developed by Tata Motors and Indian Space Research Organization after several years of research.It's a CNG-type bus. Hydrogen in bottles at high pressure is stored at the top of the bus and there would be zero pollution. The hydrogen cells were a spin-off of the cryogenic technology that ISRO had been developing for the last few years, the Bangalore-headquartered ISRO officials said.
The fuel cell technology makes it a clean and silent bus on-road. Hydrogen is stored in compressed form, which combines with oxygen from the air to generate electricity, and gives water vapor as the only emission. This electricity is used to charge the battery to power the motor of the bus. A number of fuel cells are combined to form a fuel cell stack, which is placed in the rear module of the bus.
An ISRO team had generated technical specifications for all the elements and general specifications for the bus. ISRO and TML entered into an MoU in 2006 to design and develop an automobile bus using hydrogen as a fuel through fuel cell route. The team ensured all safety measures for handling hydrogen in the bus.
Tata Motors Research Centre (TMRC) premises were used for the design and development of fuel cell power system in cooperation with ISRO and DSIR support. TML had set-up a fuel cell power system test lab with all safety measures recommended by safety committee of ISRO at Bangalore and later on at LPSC Mahendragiri.