Founded in 1885, Parsons Brinckerhoff is one of the oldest continuously operating engineering firms in the world. PB is recognized as a leader in consulting, planning, engineering, program management, construction management, operations and maintenance and design-build for all types of infrastructure. PB is employee-owned and has close to 9,000 people in more than 250 offices on six continents. PB provides a full range of services that respond to the needs of today's public and private sector clients. In addition to providing innovative facility designs since its inception, Parsons Brinckerhoff has been actively providing design and construction management of various hydrogen fuel vehicle infrastructures for more than a decade.
PB’s specialty in transportation planning includes experience with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and facilities – from planning through data collection, engineering, testing, and full implementation phases – always with quality as priority. PB is comfortable at alternative fuel bus depots and facilities, and this is proven in PB’s proficiency with state of the art facility design and implementation equipment and techniques. With this background, PB is ideally qualified to provide technical expertise and engineering services to transit agencies and other entities interested in acquiring and operating hydrogen fueled buses.
PB customers have included the California Fuel Cell Partnership, for which PB provided conceptual design and engineering analysis of four facility types to accommodate hydrogen fuel cell vehicles safely: a 10-bay maintenance facility, multi-level below-ground parking facility, multi-level above ground parking facility, and a two-car residential garage. The design was based on providing a baseline design for the facilities, conducting computational fluid dynamics modeling of potential leaking hydrogen, and preparing recommendations for design modification to alleviate the danger of leaking hydrogen.
As part of a consultant team, PB supported the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) by providing the mechanical, safety, and electrical design of modifying the storage and maintenance facility to accommodate a fleet of four experimental fuel cell buses. The design resulted in an accident free facility throughout the project period. Because of the lack of building and fire codes and standards at the time, PB utilized its engineering ingenuity to complete the design that later became a baseline model of several hydrogen design facilities.
Following the CTA project, PB conducted a preliminary design to determine the requirement and impact of integrating fuel cell buses into the bus operations of Santa Clara, California’s Valley Transit Authority (VTA). The design included an assessment study of VTA’s existing bus support infrastructure and the financial impact of introducing hydrogen fuel cell buses on such infrastructure. The design also identified fire and safety requirements, structural, architectural, mechanical, electrical, and safety modifications, capital and operation cost, and cost comparison of three fueling technology options.
In addition, Mercedes-Benz USA has retained PB to provide engineering services to enable various hydrogen fuel cell vehicle facilities to accommodate the development, testing, maintenance, and storage of their hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This is on-going project and includes meeting with various Fire and Building Officials to obtain building permits. The efforts include newly constructed and modification of existing facilities.
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