Ziegler commits to research into hydrogen-fuelled firefighting vehicles

Firefighting vehicle manufacturer Ziegler is investigating hydrogen as an energy source for firefighting trucks.

The German supplier reported this at the annual virtual conference of the GFPA (German Fire Protection Association).

The general energy turnaround is leading to evolutions in almost all areas of life. New types of drive concepts are increasingly shaping the mobility sector in particular. In addition to passenger and freight transport, special applications such as fire trucks are also a focus.

Ziegler already gained experience in alternative drives by presenting the first fully electrically driven tunnel rescue unit.

Now the company is investigating alternative drive technologies for firefighting vehicles.

The stated and long-term goal is to provide a reliably deployable technology and a strategic solution that enables operation free of harmful local emissions. The core challenges here include the high-performance requirements, ensuring long-lasting operation and rapid restoration of operational readiness. Furthermore, the company must ensure an appropriate level of security for each technological solution.

Ziegler is taking a pragmatic open approach to meet these requirements and is also looking at potentially promising energy sources, even though the 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. Hydrogen is entirely emission-free local operation; short refuelling times and coverage of power requirements thus appear to be within reach. 

With all this foresight, Ziegler needs to analyse the challenges of such a new technology related to the conditions in firefighting operations and provide the correct answers to the questions that arise. Special attention is also paid to safety considerations. To this end, the company 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 prior experience with electric vehicles in a pilot project and has been a fire department partner for many years.