Half of the railway lines in the European Union are electrified and already enable local emission-free rail transport. Diesel-powered trains are used on the remaining sections of the lines. In the EU project FCH2RAIL (Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Pack for Rail Applications), the consortium is developing and testing a new type of train prototype with partners from Belgium, Germany, Spain and Portugal: At the heart of the project is a hybrid, bi-modal drive system that combines the electrical power supply from the overhead line with a hybrid power pack consisting of fuel cells and batteries that is independent of the overhead line.
One of the main goals of the FCH2Rail project is to develop the fuel cell hybrid propulsion system. But before the installation of the FC Hybrid Power Pack on the train demonstrator, the project considered the relevance of gaining a comprehensive understanding of its operational behavior by installing one of two power packs on an ad-hoc test-bench developed at CNH2 test facilities.
This goal of knowledge acquisition is part of WP4 ‘Implementation and Test of FC Hybrid PowerPack‘. Within this Work Package, two deliverables have been released and are now available from the website of the project:
‘D4.1 – Hydrogen System and Fuel cell cooling system commissioning’ that deals with the installation and initial tests of the fuel cell modules, the cooling system and the H2 supply system.
‘D4.2 – FC Hybrid PowerPack commissioning’ is related to the integration of the battery pack, the DC/DC converter, the dissipative electronic load as well as the energy management system which controls the test bench.
These documents contain a comprehensive review of the steps carried out regarding each subsystem: shipment, placement, installation, and how a complete validation has been made in terms of interfaces, performance and safe operation. After that, the equipment of FC Hybrid Power Pack became fully available in the test bench and ready for the validation the whole system.
Additionally, to these deliverables, a brief description of all the activities performed are shown in this summary video, which is also accessible on the website https://youtu.be/mC7EGb9VA7w
Finally, it is important to highlight, that the FCH2Rail project took part of a very important event known as InnoTrans 2022 in Berlin (Germany). This event was addressed at professional external stakeholders demonstrating the FCHPP on the test bench. In this event, the FCH2Rail project provided a presentation (containing demonstrative videos) explaining the project and its principal goals and, more specifically, how FCHPP was integrated in an external test bench. Additionally, in the same presentation, the transformation of the CIVIA train into a hydrogen hybrid powered demonstration train was shown and explained.
This project has received funding from the Clean Hydrogen Partnership under Grant Agreement No 101006633. This Partnership receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.