Siemens plans to test hydrogen-powered trains by Deutsche Bahn

Deutsche Bahn AG logo taken at the Burn Tower in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin.

Christoph Soda | Image Alliance | Getty Images

Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn have set out plans for the development and trial of a hydrogen fuel cell train. This is the latest example of a major company looking at technologies that can have a significant impact on the environmental footprint of transportation systems.

According to a joint announcement released earlier this week, the trial is set to begin in 2024 and will travel by train between Tübingen, Holb and Pforzheim in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany.

The prototype train, known as the Mireo Plus H, uses fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries. It consists of two carriages with a range of up to 600 km or less than 373 miles. The maximum speed is 160 km / h.

When the annual pilot begins, hydrogen trains will replace diesel trains. The test is expected to save about 330 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The collaboration will also consider working on the relevant infrastructure required by the train.

To this end, Deutsche Bahn will partially remodel one of its maintenance shops to serve the trains and also develop a vehicle gas station.

Using electrolysis, water is split into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter being compressed before being stored in a mobile unit. The power used in this process comes from renewable energy sources.

Support for this initiative comes from the Government of Baden-Württemberg. Funding will be provided by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Germany.

Currently, Deutsche Bahn uses approximately 1,300 diesel trains on regional routes. In addition, about 40% of its vast 33,000-kilometer network is not yet electrified.

“Hydrogen fuel cell propulsion could be a climate-friendly alternative to diesel propulsion, especially on non-electrified routes,” said Winfried Hermann, Minister of Transport for Baden-Württemberg, in a statement Monday. Said. “Whether it’s electricity from overhead power lines or hydrogen, the decisive factor is that energy comes from renewable energy sources,” he added.

One of many projects

The partnership between Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn is about to materialize many projects focused on hydrogen-powered transportation.

Companies such as Alstom have also developed trains that use hydrogen fuel cells, but other examples include aircraft, buses, and automobiles.

In a comment emailed to CNBC by a spokesperson for Transport & Environment, a campaign group focused on clean transport, he emphasized the need to ensure that hydrogen is used in the mix of transport options. ..

“Europe’s railroads are already largely electrified, so they are not a place of great environmental benefit,” they said.

“Hydrogen is needed for transport where batteries are not possible,” they added. “First and foremost, it means transportation and aviation. For long-distance trucks, the race is wide open.”

A spokeswoman added, “The biggest obstacle we are facing is making sure that hydrogen is made from clean electricity. Producing hydrogen from fossil gas is not clean. Additional regeneration You need to make sure that it is based on the available power. ”

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in green hydrogen, which is a term that refers to hydrogen produced using renewable resources such as wind power and solar power.

While many major companies such as Orsted and BP are working on projects to explore this sector, the European Union will have 40 gigawatts of renewable hydrogen electrolytic cells installed by 2030 and 10 million metric tons of renewable hydrogen. I have a plan to produce.

Against the backdrop of EU goals, the International Energy Agency states that global hydrogen production now reaches about 70 million metric tons per year.

Siemens plans to test hydrogen-powered trains by Deutsche Bahn

Source link Siemens plans to test hydrogen-powered trains by Deutsche Bahn

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