Toyota provides Mirai H2 fuel cells in hybrid hydrogen electric train consortium
The modules are for a locomotive demonstration as a part of the European FCH2Rail project testing phase.
Toyota Motor Europe has announced the delivery of the first batch of H2 fuel cells that will be used for an emission-free locomotive demonstration at the Centro Nacional del Hidrogeno (CNH2).
The CNH2 is Spain’s national hydrogen and fuel cell testing facility and will host the demonstration.
The H2 fuel cells will be applied to a demonstration locomotive that will represent a major component of the European FCH2Rail testing phase. That initiative’s goal is to let electric trains switch to emission-free hybrid operation when traveling through regions that are off the grid. This will make it possible to use alternative emission-free energy to power locomotives when overhead powerlines aren’t present.
These bi-mode trains would play an important role in making it possible to phase out diesel locomotives, which are currently a standard option for rail transport in areas off the electrical grid. This Toyota news follows the automaker’s construction and testing of six modules, each of which were based on its hydrogen powered car, the Mirai sedan. That said, the unit supplied for the train is notably more powerful and compact than the passenger car predecessor and provides a 30 percent increase in range.
The CNH2 will provide a baseline test of three H2 fuel cells combined with powertrain batteries.
Those initial tests will take place before all six modules are sent to the CAF, the global transport provider headquartered in Spain. That will occur in February, at which time they will be installed into the demonstration locomotive.
That locomotive is a CIVIA electric commuter train constructed by CAF and supplied by Renfe, another member of the FCH2Rail consortium.
The final testing phase of the H2 fuel cells will involve incorporating them into a hybrid power pack that can combine electricity supplied from the grid and its overhead lines in combination with the hydrogen module and battery. That pack will allow the locomotive to operate independently of the grid when it needs to. At times when the train heads off the grid, it will automatically begin to source its power from the pack.
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