- Bimodal demonstration train is to run with overhead line electricity and fuel cells
- Photo gallery: Toyota supplies fuel cell modules for trains
Bimodal demonstration train is to run with overhead line electricity and fuel cells
Just half of all railway lines in Europe are electrified, the rest mostly use diesel locomotives. The EU project FCH2RAIL (Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Pack for Rail Applications) launched at the beginning of the year aims to change this and is relying on fuel cells to do this.
Toyota Motor Europe will supply the stacks for the hydrogen trains, as the company now reports.
Toyota recently announced that it would be using the fuel cell technology known from the Mirai in the form of modules wants to sell to other companies. According to Toyota, they are not only suitable for use on the road, but also on rails, on water and for stationary facilities.
The project team wants one Develop train prototypes that will have a hybrid, bimodal drive: If overhead lines are available, the train will take the power from there. Otherwise, the energy comes from the hydrogen-powered fuel cell modules from Toyota.
The drive will be installed in an electric local train from the Spanish manufacturer CAF, which is provided by the Spanish state railway Renfe. CAF also supplies the batteries and converters. The drive can be adapted as required to the application – for both passenger and freight transport. For example, more hydrogen tanks increase the range, while the number of fuel cell and battery modules affects the drive power.
A corresponding drive for a rail vehicle is to be developed, tested and approved within four years with a budget of 14 million euros. Initial tests will take place on Spanish and Portuguese rail lines.
However, the international project team still has to overcome various challenges beforehand. The fuel cell and battery modules must be correctly combined and controlled. In addition, the waste heat from the fuel cells is to be used to heat and air-condition the train. This is what the consortium of air conditioning manufacturers Faiveley / Stemmann Technik (STT) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) deals with.
In addition, the project team wants to review the applicable safety standards and forward any proposed changes to the authorities in order to facilitate the EU-wide approval of hydrogen trains in the near future.
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Photo gallery: Toyota supplies fuel cell modules for trains
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