Allison Leahy

SKhy Bus Is A Carbon-Negative Solar & Wastewater Fueled Shuttle Bus Of The Future

by , 09/05/11

green design, eco design, eco friendly, environmental design, environment, sustainable design, sustainable living, green living, eco habitat, eco conscious, green infrastructure, infrastructure, green transportation, co2, climate change, environment, sustainable design, sustainable living, green living, cheap energy, EV, electric vehicle, EV concept, electric, emissions, carbon dioxide, emissions reduction, reduce, carbon negative, hydrogen fueled, hydrogen fuel cell, wastewater to hydrogen, alan monteiro, aerodynamic, recycled aluminum, wastewater, unmanned vehicle, robotics, solar cell, solar power, cleantech, carbon reduction, pollution, climate change, ecosystem, skhy, skhy bus, skhy bus conceptPortuguese designer Alan Monteiro has illustrated his vision of green transportation: an aerodynamic carbon swallowing, wastewater recycling, oxygen releasing, unmanned shuttle bus concept called SKhy. While the actual build of this breathing bus may be a long way off, its ambitiously layered clean tech design is good fodder for green dreams.

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SKhy’s ultra-lightweight aluminum chassis and aerodynamic design mean that the vehicle wouldn’t require much energy to reach and maintain a comfortable speed. Whatever power SKhy does need would be generated by wastewater-to-hydrogen technology and combusted in its highly energy efficient hydrogen fuel cell engine. Instead of carbon dioxide and particulate emissions, residual clean water “waste” would be expelled and subsequently re-purposed.

Large air intakes lining the front end of the shuttle capture and filter the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, diverting the CO2 to run the internal cooling system and discharging extra oxygen molecules back into the environment. Add the fact that sunlight and solar cells work harmoniously to generate electricity for inside digital displays, passenger reading lights and other mechanisms, and what you have is carbon-reducing “living” eco-transportation.

The name, which stands for “Solar and Kinetic energy to produce Hydrogen” is descriptive of both its function and the air of limitless possibility it inspires. To emphasize its futuristic qualities, Monteiro decided the urea-fueled shuttle bus shouldn’t rely on a driver’s attention or skill — SKhy is capable of transporting up to 128 passengers with the aid of GPS and sensors.

The first step to seeing a sustainable sensation like this on the road is the further development and scaling of wastewater fuel technology. With most of the transportation world’s attention directed towards electric vehicles and Obama yanking cleaner air standards, it’s unlikely this radical concept will be humming alongside and cleaning up after gas guzzlers any time soon.  But hey, the future is uncertain and it’s good to dream.

+ Alan Monteiro

Via Eco-friendly Vehicles

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4 Comments

  1. lazyreader September 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Water is heavy, a gallon of water weighs over 8 pounds. Waste water with all it’s suspended solids would be more. Aluminum maybe light but storing water and all the equipment needed to process it seems rather unnecessary especially when that can be done offsite reducing vehicle weight and the vehicles be refueled at a depot.

  2. zeppflyer September 6, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Whatever power SKhy does need would be generated by wastewater-to-hydrogen technology and combusted in its highly energy efficient hydrogen fuel cell engine.

    OK, so, are we saying that the bus carries the wastewater with it, harvests methane, and separates hydrogen in in on board plant? That just doesn’t work. I don’t know how much hydrogen you can get from a gallon of wastewater, but it can’t be much. Certainly not enough to render that lightweight frame redundant by hauling around (at least) thousands of pounds of water.

    While wastewater treatment might make sense for stationary generation of power and hydrogen, trying to shoehorn such a plant into the back of a bus does not. Fuel cells are a good thing for powering green vehicles, but there are many ways to cleanly generate hydrogen for them and conflating the two only muddies proposals.

    The air purifiers also make little sense for placement on a vehicle. How is CO2 of any more use for cooling than regular air? Plus, not only do the airscoops reduce the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle, but stripping the carbon from Oxygen is an energy-intensive process which would, again, make the vehicle less efficient.

    Just like with the other ideas, it makes more sense to have such purifiers sitting firmly on the ground where they can be built as big and as efficient as possible, rather than have the compromises in weight and volume that would be needed to fit them into the back of a bus.

  3. lazyreader September 6, 2011 at 9:39 am

    A super wide bus? This doesn’t even look like it will fit on a conventional street. It’s ridiculous. We already have articulated buses than can carry 120 passengers and they’re often never full through out much of the day. According to transit data, the average city bus in America carries no more than 9 passengers average through out the day. Why use a forty passenger bus to carry roughly nine people when a small bus or paratransit vehicle works just as well and takes up less space and can maneuver better. This SKhy bus is probably really expensive negating the supposed carbon benefits it proposes. And why spend so much money on a small fleet when you can buy many more buses with that money and use it carry more passengers. Buses suffer from an innate inferiority complex being associated with the poor or the underclass, but they are experiencing a resurgence in the inter city market carrying more American passengers a year than Amtrak does and at a fraction of the price. And you can save more energy and reduce pollution overall by not having large mostly empty vehicles going out through most of the day, and that’ll save more than a fleet of really expensive fuel cell buses that may only pick up scant amount of passengers while running it’s route all day. That’s why you don’t want high occupancy transit, you want low occupancy transit that offers direct point to point transportation. This SKhy bus is nothing more than a bus that’s been gussied up to look like a more sophisticated train or a ferry; it’s just an excuse so politicians can spend money looking to this as another solution to some transportation problem they’ve made up.

  4. caeman September 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    This looks like a great vehicle for a fixed-route shuttling service.

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