The Anonymous Widower

Decarbonising Auxiliary Load In Freight Today

This project was one of the winners in the First Of A Kind 2022 competition run by Innovate UK.

In this document, this is said about the project.

Project No: 10039629

Project title: Decarbonising Auxiliary Load In Freight Today
Lead organisation: G-VOLUTION LTD
Project grant: £378,514

Public description: Freight locomotives have auxiliary electric power requirements which account for up to 10-15% of the total power demand, covering engine and traction motor cooling, safety and signalling systems and locomotive control systems.

These loads are currently serviced by an alternator on ubiquitous diesel ICE powertrains. This demand is persistent, requiring the diesel ICEs to remain powered up/idling during the significant periods of dwell time faced by freight services. Up to 20% of freight locomotive fuel consumption and emissions, from CO2 and particulates, therefore arise from non-traction aspects.

Whilst extreme traction requirements for freight operations restricts adoption of full decarbonised powertrains – unless compromises for traction power or range are made – no existing rail technology targets the significant auxiliary power requirements.

In response, G-volution have engaged a team cutting across the full UK supply chain to realise and integrate a first-of-a-kind system for on-board auxiliary power on freight locomotives, based on high energy-density fuel cells and a carbon neutral bio-LPG fuel system.

Whilst initially representing the lowest cost/technical barrier route to catalyse significant CO2, exhaust emission and diesel fuel savings in freight, this approach has potential to also substitute traction power in the long term, and supports the transition to green hydrogen as a rail transport fuel.

Through a live demonstration with a UK freight operator, the project will therefore prove that high efficiency fuel cells, which are able to use a range of cleaner, greener, cheaper zero net carbon renewable fuels, can work in the rail environment and also stimulate significant commercial benefits for all operators, via reduced fuel costs and future environmental levies.

My Thoughts And Conclusions

Note that another G-volution project is described in Grand Central DMU To Be Used For Dual-Fuel Trial.

I also suspect, this auxiliary power unit could have other applications.


November 17, 2022 - Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] 10039629 – Decarbonising Auxiliary Load In Freight Today […]

    Pingback by First Of A Kind 2022 Winners Announced « The Anonymous Widower | November 17, 2022 | Reply

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