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Stertil Koni supports UK’s first Hydrogen Bus Refuelling Station

Vehicle lifting specialist Stertil Koni has supplied 30 wireless mobile column lifts to support a revolutionary green transport project in Aberdeen.

Designed and constructed at a cost of £19 million – with backing from the UK government, the European Union, the Scottish government and a consortium of private sector partners – the new enterprise incorporates the UK’s first commercial-scale hydrogen production and bus refuelling facility.

The site, which is owned and operated by BOC at Aberdeen City Council’s Kittybrewster depot, was conceived with the ultimate aim of helping to create a hydrogen economy in Aberdeen. Alongside the hydrogen production and fuelling operations, the site also features a purpose-built hydrogen fuel cell vehicle maintenance facility. To ensure the efficiency and safety of all servicing and maintenance activities on Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleet, the facility relies upon the use of 30 Stertil Koni wireless column lifts, type ST1075FWF.

Each column is fitted with Stertil Koni’s revolutionary Ebright smart control system. Designed around full-colour touch screen consoles, eBright has been developed to simplify operation of the company’s range of wireless mobile column lifts. The eBright smart control system provides intuitive ease of use with maximum visual information about every lifting operation – all at the fingertips of the technician.

Using the eBright controls, workshop staff can simply operate the mobile columns individually, in pairs or other multiples as a set. At Aberdeen, the 7.5 tonnes capacity lifts are generally configured in five sets each comprising six lifts to provide a total lifting capacity of 45 tonnes per set.

Features of the eBright smart control system include high resolution, full-colour 7" screens offering touch screen control plus owner/user configurable options such as choice of language and personalised ID key with pin code to prevent unauthorised use. The system also incorporates a workshop integrated automatic log function providing data such as motor hours, lifting cycles and battery status. Programmable on-screen notifications are also selectable to display safety warnings, scheduled maintenance and dealer/after-sales information. Additionally, to ensure ongoing performance, the eBright smart control system’s software can be easily updated via the USB port.

Long-life deep cycle batteries power the lifts for at least a week on average before recharging is necessary. The batteries are then charged overnight via a 230v single phase supply. As one of the fastest vehicle lifts available, the ST1075FWF provides lifting heights up to 1.85 metres which is achieved in just 70 seconds. Significantly, the lift’s unique synchronisation system ensures a smooth lifting and lowering cycle, even in the event of extremely uneven load distribution of vehicles to be lifted.

Developed with an emphasis on safety, every ST1075FWF lift features an independent mechanical safety lock fitted as standard thereby allowing a raised vehicle to be ‘parked’ on the locks. With no cables on the workshop floor, the risk of tripping is removed, providing valuable health and safety benefits and, with no power supply necessary, the system can be used inside or outdoors. Also, the absence of power and communication cables means that set-up time is drastically reduced thereby making the system fully operational much more quickly.

"We’re extremely proud to have been commissioned to supply our latest generation lifts to support such a prestigious and groundbreaking project," says Tony Edge, Stertil Koni’s general manager. "The combination of our ST1075FWF wireless mobile column lifts and eBright smart control system means that all aspects of maintaining Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleet are carried out efficiently and safely."

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