Image credit: Alstom.com
Alstom Germany has successfully test run a hydrogen fuel cell powered passenger train. While the constant drive to move to better and less polluting fuels for passenger travels in increasing by the day, with this development Alstom has emerged as the front-runner in the race.
The train Coradia iLint derived from the existing Coradia range seemed most suited for conversion to the a hydrogen fuel cell array as energy supply. The train ran at a speed of 80 km/hr at the company’s own test track. It is a zero emission vehicle as the train releases only steam and condensed water. A similar test run of the train is happening in the Czech Republic at speeds up to 140 km/hr, which is the maximum speed the Coradia range can go to.
This train is the first low-floor passenger train to utilize the power of hydrogen fuel cell as a power supply. The fuel cell is used for generation of electricity. A combination of technologies has been used to achieve this success. A hydrogen fuel cells, energy storage in batteries, and a dynamic management of train traction and available power reserve.
A special mobile hydrogen fueling station has also been commissioned for the fuel supply on the go. At the moment, the hydrogen supply for the hydrogen fuel cells is met from the production from factories from which it is produced as a waste product. In the future, the company hopes to use wind power to augment the fuel supply. If all goes well, we should be able to see the passenger run trials by early 2018.