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Hydrogen as fuel for ZIEGLER firefighting vehicles

17. May 2021 | Press releases

At the virtual annual conference of the GFPA (German Fire Protection Association), ZIEGLER reports on the aspects of the use of hydrogen as an energy source for the operation of firefighting vehicles. The general energy turnaround is leading to evolutions in almost all areas of life. The mobility sector in particular is increasingly being shaped by new types of drive concepts. In addition to passenger and freight transport, special applications such as firefighting vehicles are also the focus of this change.

ZIEGLER already gained first experiences in the field of alternative drives with the presentation of the first fully electrically driven tunnel rescue vehicle MERKUR in 2012 (cf. https://www.feuerwehrmagazin.de/wissen/tunnel-retter-mit-e-motor-29261). Now ZIEGLER is building on this experience by investigating alternative drive technologies for firefighting vehicles.
The stated and long-term goal is to provide a reliably deployable technology and strategy solution that, in perspective, allows operation free of local harmful emissions. The core challenges here include the high performance requirements, ensuring long-lasting operation and rapid restoration of operational readiness. Furthermore, an appropriate level of security must be ensured for each technological solution.

In order to meet these requirements, ZIEGLER is taking a pragmatic open approach and is also looking at energy sources early, whose potential is high, but whose use in the fire department currently still seems a long way off. One possible solution could be hydrogen – a corresponding trend is emerging in the commercial vehicle sector. Completely emission-free local operation, short refueling times and coverage of power requirements thus appear to be within reach.

With all its innovative foresight, it is important for ZIEGLER to analyze the challenges of such a new technology in relation to the conditions in firefighting operations and to provide the right answers to the questions that arise. Special attention is also paid to a security consideration: To this end, ZIEGLER is cooperating with the University of Wuppertal, Germany. The project is scientifically accompanied by staff of the chair “Methods of Safety Engineering and Accident Research”, headed by Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uli Barth. The Chair has already gained preliminary experience with electric vehicles in a pilot project and has been a partner of the fire department for many years (cf. https://www.msu.uni-wuppertal.de/de/aktuelles/wuppertaler-elektro-feuerwehrfahrzeug-wird-erwachsen.html).

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