Rīgas Satiksme, the company operating buses in Riga, the capital of Latvia has inducted 10 Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered buses to replace trolley buses with diesel hybrid engines. These engines were required to run the buses on 5.2 Km of unwired sections of a 20 Km route.

The trolley buses are electric buses which draw power from overhead cables a la the trams. However, they do not run on rails and have normal bus tyres. Since January, Rīgas Satiksme, the company operating these buses had inducted diesel hybrid buses to cover 5.2 km of unwired sections of the main 20 Km route. Come March 24, Rīgas Satiksme, inducted 10 Solaris Trollino trolley buses for operation on this route. The Fuel Cell has dynamically re-chargeable batteries and a range extender fuel cell. The Hydrogen fuel cell provides an additional range of 150 Km and needs just 10 minutes to charge its tanks with Hydrogen.

Image Courtesy Solaris

The Solaris Trollino are low floor trolley buses. The buses deployed in Riga have a length of 18.7 m. They are powered by Medcom ANT 250-600 (IGBT) asynchronous 250 KW 6-pole motors. The buses have mechanical pantograph system which is operated manually. However, options for a semi-automatic or automatic pantograph exists.

For a comfortable ride, the buses are offered with a ZF independent suspension at the front and ZF portal axle at the rear. They come with power steering for the driving ease along with Electronic Braking System (EBS), Anti Lock Braking Systems (ABS) and Acceleration Slip Regulation (ASR). Solaris Trollino are provided with a suspension ECAS with function which is used to lower the right side by up to 70 mm. It can also lower and raise the bus by 60 mm.

The Solaris Trollino buses come with a stainless steel body, wheel chair ramps and manual stowage for wheel chairs. For ventilation they are provided with electric roof hatches and two way blowing and extraction system. Though air conditioning is optional, water based compartment heating system is standard on all buses.