technology – 511 Contra Costa

BitLock: World's Coolest Bike Lock?

What if someone told you there were a way to safely lock your bike with a not a key, but a smartphone app? And that this same app enables you to seamlessly borrow a friend’s bike, effectively allowing users to create their own bike-share network? And that the app alerts you if your bike has been stolen?
That’s the amazing and genius concept behind BitLock, a kickstarter idea that has just reached its crowd-sourced funding goal. The below one and a half minute video manages to easily explain how it works while capturing the incredible uses and benefits the device has the potential to offer the world.

(The world’s coolest bike lock? Could very well be! Video credit: Terry Knight)
For additional details about BitLock, visit its Kickstarter page.

AC Transit Bus Fuel Cell System Sets Durability Record

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn., June 29, 2010 – UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company, announced yesterday it has set durability records for its latest generation transit bus fuel cell system.
A PureMotion® Model 120 fuel cell powerplant aboard an Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) bus operating in the Greater Oakland, California, area has surpassed 7,000 hours in service with the original cell stacks and no cell replacements, and another has exceeded 6,000 hours.
“Based on industry data we’ve seen, these durability milestones are unmatched in the industry,” said Ken Stewart, UTC Power Vice President-Transportation. “We’ve worked very hard at UTC Power over the past several years to improve our fuel cell stack durability, which is recognized as a key challenge to commercializing fuel cell vehicles. These operating hour numbers demonstrate our significant progress.”
Three of AC Transit’s buses are equipped with UTC Power fuel cell systems and have now traveled more than 255,000 miles, with an average fuel economy that is 65 percent better than the control fleet of diesel buses running the same routes and duty cycles.
Fuel cell buses produce no harmful tailpipe emissions and provide a smooth, quiet ride for passengers. Transit buses with fuel cell systems can have a major impact on greenhouse gas reduction, ranging from a 43 percent reduction over diesel buses if hydrogen is supplied from the reformation of natural gas, up to a 100 percent reduction when hydrogen is generated from on-site renewable sources like solar and wind power.
“This is the type of result we and our industry are looking for as we make steady progress toward proving the commercial viability of fuel cell buses for public transit. We’re looking forward to applying the success of UTC Power’s newest fuel cell systems in our new fleet of 12 next-generation buses, as they enter passenger service over the next six months,” said Jaimie Levin, AC Transit’s Director of Alternative Fuels Policy and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Program Manager.
UTC Power is part of United Technologies Corp., which provides energy-efficient products and services to the aerospace and building industries. Based in South Windsor, Conn., UTC Power is a world leader in developing and producing fuel cells for on-site power at buildings and for transportation applications.
AC Transit serves more than 1.5 million people in 13 cities (including Oakland and Berkeley) and two counties in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. With a fleet of 600 buses, it carries more than 67 million passengers annually.
Source: UTC Press Release, June 29, 2010 AC Transit Fuel System (click to download)

Linde hydrogen technology to fuel AC Transit buses

Murray Hill & New Providence, New Jersey — The air in California’s San Francisco Bay area is about to get cleaner as new fuel cell buses in the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) hit the road, powered in part by hydrogen from two refueling stations Linde North America is building. Linde has contracted with AC Transit to supply the hydrogen fueling technology and the hydrogen for the new stations, which will be located at AC Transit’s Emeryville and Oakland operating divisions.
Linde North America is a member of The Linde Group, a world leading gases and engineering company and one of the world’s largest hydrogen producers. AC Transit is the transit bus operator for 13 cities in the East Bay Area, including Oakland, Emeryville, and Berkeley, and also operates trans-bay service to San Francisco.
Steve Eckhardt, Linde’s west coast head of Alternative Energy Business Development, said, “The Linde refueling stations will be outfitted with the latest, most efficient technology and will deliver the fastest and most reliable hydrogen fueling capability in North America, resulting in no disruption to depot operation or the surrounding community.”
Jaimie Levin, director of Alternative Fuels Policy at AC Transit, said:

“AC Transit is ready to take our commitment to renewable fuels to the next level. We are confident that Linde’s refueling technology will allow us to move toward our goal of having a commercial fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses. We expect this project to prove that hydrogen fuel cell buses can perform as well or better than diesel fueled buses, while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in excess of 40 percent.”

For these stations, Linde is using technology known as ionic compression, which uses less electricity than other hydrogen fueling stations and requires less maintenance. “Linde has used this technology successfully in stations located throughout Europe and is pleased to bring its benefits to North America,” Eckhardt said.
The Linde Ionic Compressor hydrogen fueling systems are step-changes in technology for hydrogen fuel dispensing in North America. Both units are high-performance, fast-fill dispensing systems. The IC-50 ionic bus fueling system can fill a bus with 30 kg of hydrogen in six minutes. The MF-90 car fueling system can fill an automobile in three minutes for 300-400 miles of operation. “And when these buses and cars are on the road, they produce zero tailpipe emissions, which is a major advantage of using hydrogen as an alternative fuel,” Eckhardt said.
Linde’s refueling station at AC Transit’s Emeryville site will use liquid hydrogen produced off-site and gaseous hydrogen produced from water by a state-of-the-art electrolyzer, which will be powered by renewable energy credits generated by AC Transit’s new 575- Kilowatt solar installation at its central maintenance facility. The electrolyzer is made by Proton Energy Systems, a leader in hydrogen generation systems. The station also will be able to fuel hydrogen fuel cell cars made by major auto manufacturers, including Hyundai, Daimler, Toyota, GM, and Honda.
The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 48,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2009 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 11.2 billion (USD 15.3 billion). The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services.
Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
For more information, visit Linde North America online at
Jon Lederman
Linde corporate communications
Source: Linde Group press release, June 7, 2010