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Friday, December 15, 2023

Extra Diesel-Killing Hydrogen Electrical Gasoline Cell Trains Are Coming

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Electrical commuter trains and subways are a dime a dozen in some components of the world, however lengthy haul passenger and freight trains nonetheless depend upon diesel gas. That’s why ears pricked up final 12 months when Germany launched the world’s first rail line to characteristic solely zero emission hydrogen gas cell electrical trains. Apparently that experiment was a bust, however Germany is again once more for one more crack at it.

Hydrogen Gasoline Cell Electrical Trains Get Knocked Down…

Electrical commuter trains, trolleys, and subways usually get their electrical energy from overhead wires or electrified rails that run the complete size of the railroad. Putting in on-board batteries or gas cells to affect trains is a brand new factor.

When you’re questioning why not simply retrofit all of the non-electric rail strains with new wires or rails, that’s query. Although it’s attainable in some instances, typically talking a systemwide electrification retrofit could be impractical or prohibitively costly, particularly when new substations, transmission strains and different electrical infrastructure are factored in.

Early indicators of curiosity in deploying gas cells to decarbonize locomotives started to cross the CleanTechnica radar a number of years in the past. The going was sluggish, however final 12 months Germany’s state-owned rail firm, Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (LNVG), made a splash when it launched the world’s first rail line to run gas cell electrical trains completely.

That was trigger for a lot celebration amongst followers of gas cell electrical trains. Sadly for them, the celebration didn’t final lengthy. In August of 2023, a number of information organizations reported that LNVG is planning to accumulate 102 battery-electric trains, having decided that the gas cell path to decarbonization was too costly.

…However they stand up once more.

A lot for gas cell electrical trains, not less than so far as LNVG is worried.

In the meantime, in September the Siemens Mobility department of the worldwide powerhouse Siemens introduced that the primary spherical of testing for its new Mireo Plus H hydrogen practice has been accomplished.

The mission is supported by the state of Bavaria by way of the railway operator Bayerische Regiobahn (BRB), which payments itself because the second-largest railway system in Germany.

If all goes in accordance with plan, the brand new gas cell electrical trains will start ferrying passengers between Augsburg, Füssen, and Peissenberg someday subsequent summer season for a 30-month trial run.

Mireo Plus H represents a distinct strategy to railway electrification. As a substitute of getting locomotives pull a protracted practice of vehicles, the brand new gas cell electrical trains are available pairs known as trainsets.

“Two roof-mounted gas cells and a lithium-ion battery guarantee fully CO2-free mobility,” Siemens defined in a press assertion. The brand new electrical trains can function from 1,000-1,200 kilometers between refueling, reaching a high pace of  160 kilometers per hour.

“The Mireo Plus H additionally impressively options the bottom lifecycle prices in comparison with different gas cell trains available on the market and could be shortly refueled in simply quarter-hour,” Siemen added.

Bavaria’s Transport Minister, Christian Bernreiter, appeared considerably reassured however is hedging his bets for now. “Our aim is to finish diesel operations in Bavaria’s native and regional rail passenger transport by 2040. Along with electrifying routes and utilizing battery-powered trains, hydrogen propulsion could be an essential consider attaining this aim,” he stated.

The state’s Economics Minister was extra enthusiastic. “With this primary hydrogen practice, Bavaria is taking one other step in the direction of a hydrogen future,” stated Hubert Aiwanger, including that “we’re making the hydrogen future a tangible expertise.”

Aiwanger additionally famous that the Mireo Plus trial run would function a studying platform in the direction of “the broad software of sustainable hydrogen improvements.”

Siemens is already eyeballing extra orders. On December 11 the corporate introduced that it has constructed seven Mireo Plus H trainsets for Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (NEB), to run within the Berlin-Brandenburg area.

Inexperienced Hydrogen For Gasoline Cell Electrical Trains

As for the supply of the hydrogen to gas all these new electrical trains, the worldwide hydrogen provide presently depends virtually completely on pure fuel and different fossil inputs. Nevertheless, new inexperienced hydrogen expertise is starting to switch fossils with electrolysis techniques powered by renewable power, which push hydrogen fuel from water.

Biomass and wastewater are additionally in play for a sustainable hydrogen provide chain, however for now a lot of the motion is centered on water electrolysis (heaps extra inexperienced hydrogen protection is right here).

As of proper now, inexperienced hydrogen accounts for a negligible quantity of the worldwide hydrogen provide, down within the 1% vary in accordance with some estimates. Nevertheless, the inexperienced hydrogen transition is accelerating, with an help from Germany amongst different nations.

That features India, which has laid formidable inexperienced hydrogen plans. “The Ministry of New and Renewable Power has articulated a nationwide inexperienced hydrogen mission, with the aim of creating India ‘the World Hub for manufacturing, utilization and export of Inexperienced Hydrogen and its derivatives,’ CleanTechnica famous in November.

India is already planning for inexperienced hydrogen to go along with its new gas cell electrical bus pilot check, and it’s not leaving gas cell electrc trains out within the chilly.

On December 11, the worldwide inexperienced hydrogen agency GreenH Electrolysis introduced that it’s going to assemble a inexperienced hydrogen manufacturing facility with a fueling station, custom-built to assist kickstart the “Hydrogen for Heritage” initiative of Indian Railways.

“Indian Railways (IR) has envisaged to run 35 (thirty 5) Hydrogen trains  beneath “Hydrogen for Heritage” at an estimated price of ₹ 80 crores per practice and floor infrastructure of ₹ 70 crores per route on varied heritage/hill routes,” the Ministry of Railways defined final February. The timetable requires the primary trains to run between Jind and Sonipat starting in 2024.

The information group Railway Expertise notes that the Heritage routes are narrow-guage railways together with Matheran Hill Railway, Kangra Valley, Bilmora Waghai, Marwar-Devgarh Madriya, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Kalka Shimla Railway, and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

The Ministry of Railways expects that preliminary operating prices will likely be excessive, however that prices will go down as extra gas cell electrical trains hit the rails and economies of scale go up. Additionally they consult with hydrogen gas cell trainsets for the Heritage mission, which may imply that trainsets are making a contribution to the financial feasibility of gas cell propulsion.

The Ministry additionally notes that it has launched a gas cell electrical practice retrofit pilot mission utilizing a diesel-electric a number of unit practice as a platform, aimed on the Jind–Sonipat part of Northern Railway. The mission will likely be supported by GreenH’s new inexperienced hydrogen and gas station facility.

Talking Of Trainsets…

If you realize something about some great benefits of deploying trainsets for railway electrification, drop us a be aware within the remark thread.

Hydrogen trainsets are additionally coming to the USA, the place California known as dibs on the nation’s first ever gas cell electrical trainsets again in 2019, to be equipped by the US department of the Swiss firm Stadler. The flexibleness to run on tracks with or with out overhead wires was apparently a part of the calculation.

In October, Stadler signed an settlement with California transportation officers to ship 4 hydrogen trainsets.

“That will sound like small potatoes, but when all goes in accordance with plan the settlement comes with an choice to buy 25 extra gas cell trains,” CleanTechnica famous.

Observe me @tinamcasey on Bluesky, Threads, Submit, and LinkedIn.

Picture (cropped): Siemens Mobility is producing hydrogen gas cell electrical trains for Germany (courtesy of Siemens).

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