This hydrogen-powered street sweeper is now cleaning roads in the Netherlands

Source: Holthausen

Hoogezand, Nederland. 18 July 2017. Roads in the northern Netherlands village of Hoogezand are being cleaned with half the noise and zero pollution since a new street sweeper entered service.

But this is a street cleaner with a difference and a first of its kind for the Netherlands: it’s completely powered by hydrogen.

Formerly diesel-powered, the machine was converted to run on a hydrogen fuel cell by Netherlands firm Holthausen, in cooperation with the municipality of Groningen. Finnish manufacturer Visedo supplied its expertise to electrify the vehicle’s drive system.

The end result is a street-cleaning vehicle that can run for 1.5 days on a single hydrogen charge and emits nothing except water.

Not only is the new vehicle cleaner, it’s also much quieter than a diesel model. Noise from the hydrogen vehicle is 60 dBA compared to approximately 120 dBA of a traditional diesel street sweeper. This number is expected to fall even lower, to about 40 dBA, with upgrades.

Carl Holthausen of Holthausen said:

“With the old machines producing 120 decibels, a passing diesel street cleaner can shake the windows of your house. Our sweeper is now at 60 decibels so it creates much less noise pollution for the local community.”

Several Dutch cities, including Rotterdam and Amsterdam, have now shown interest in the conversion, while Vatican City has also requested information about the project.

“Vatican City is currently cleaned with battery-powered electric cleaners but the sweeper batteries are empty after 4.5 hours of operating. Our vehicles can operate for one and half days on a single charge,” Mr Holthausen said.

Visedo supplied the DC-DC converter for the fuel cell as well as components for energy storage and power management including the propulsion motor driving the hydraulic main pump that delivers power to the vehicle.

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