With nearly 70 million passengers per year, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the third largest airport in Europe (after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle). The operator now wants to turn the airport into one of the most sustainable. An important contribution towards this aim has been the 100 electric buses which have been in operation since April 2018 and which are equipped with smart charging pantographs from Schunk.
The Netherlands have long played a pioneering role when it comes to ecological awareness. An important impact for reducing emissions in traffic centers, for example, could be provided by the use of electric buses. Ten Dutch cities have already converted their bus fleets to electric vehicles as of today. The province of North Brabant, with its largest city of Eindhoven is scheduled to be served completely by zero-emission buses by the year 2025. Other big e-bus projects are either planned or underway everywhere where emissions are particularly high. These locations include Amsterdam Schiphol Airport with nearly 500,000 flights per year. Since April 2018 a total of 100 electrical buses, comprising five lines, have been in use, connecting the airport with the surrounding area. The buses cover a total distance of some 30,000 km every day – completely free of emissions.
Fast and reliable: Smart Charging System from Schunk
With such a high volume of transport traffic, a particularly fast and reliable charging system is needed so that the buses are operable around the clock. VDL Bus & Coach, the manufacturer of the electric buses which are used at Schiphol, depends on the SLS 102 charging pantograph from Schunk. The infrastructure for the 23 opportunity charge stations, located at four strategic charging points, is provided by the company Heliox. Thanks to the optimally-matched system of pantograph and charging station, batteries can be recharged while passengers get on and off the buses. Even in the event of a completely empty battery, the entire recharge takes less than 20 minutes. This comparatively short recharging time, together with the extensive range of the buses, was decisive for the collaboration between VDL Bus & Coach, Heliox and Schunk Carbon Technology. Furthermore, the success story of the SLS 102 on 43 electric buses in the Dutch city of Eindhoven as well as in numerous other projects around the world provided an additional convincing argument.
The rapid contacting of the pantograph head with the charging infrastructure in only five seconds as well as a current transmission of 800 amps makes the SLS 102 from Schunk Carbon Technology the current technological leader and most advanced recharging solution for use in local public transportation with battery-driven electric buses. The pantograph is mounted on the bus roof and docks fully automatically with a contact hood, which is fastened to a mounting pole. Bus kneeling during parking and recharging is compensated by the rocking design of the pantograph so that no interruption of the recharging occurs.
Sustainability as a competitive advantage
Schunk is currently the supplier with the most projects and systems within the full automatic conductive charging market segment. Intelligent technologies make it possible to significantly reduce required battery dimensions and thus to achieve an optimal relationship between battery size, passenger capacity utilization and driving range. The success story continues, also in the Netherlands: the city of Eindhoven is currently planning the use of a further 189 electric buses with pantographs from Schunk in order to reduce noise and pollutant emissions from buses to a minimum in the future.
More and more cities and communities are following the Dutch example in other countries, too. Various cities in Poland, the Netherlands, Russia and France are presently engaged in ongoing projects with Schunk.