Indian Railways tenders hydrogen fuel cell technology for trains


The Indian Railways has tendered the hybrid hydrogen fuel cell and battery-based technology to run trains as part of its efforts to cut emissions as well as fuel costs. Initially, it plans hydrogen power-based conversion of two diesel-electric multiple unit (DEMU) rakes in the 89km Sonipat-Jind section of Northern Railway. 

The hydrogen fuel cell retrofitment kit, along with the balance-of-plant and energy storage and hydrogen storage modules, will replace the existing power-train items onboard 1,600HP DEMUs.

Based on operational requirements of a 1,600 HP DEMU, the power train should consist of a primary energy source of 800 kW proton exchange membrane technology hydrogen fuel cell-based power stacks (preferably in multiples of 100/150/200 kW) supported by a secondary energy source (battery bank) with a power rating of 400 kW. The battery bank must be based on Lithium-ion technology. However, other battery types may also be accepted, provided these offer better energy and power density, life cycle, etc.

The scope of work includes design, supply, retrofitment, testing, field trials of fuel cell and battery-based power stack modules, hydrogen storage, power electronics/controls and associated equipment, including necessary engineering & supervision work, for hydrogen uses for retrofitment of 1600HP DEMUs.

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