The Anonymous Widower

Alstom’s Coradia iLint Successfully Travels 1,175 km Without Refueling Its Hydrogen Tank

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Alstom.

This paragraph describes the trip.

Alstom, global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, has demonstrated the effectiveness of its hydrogen powered solutions for long distance transportation. During a long-distance journey, an unmodified serially-produced Coradia iLint train covered 1,175 kilometres without refuelling the hydrogen tank, only emitting water and operating with very low levels of noise. The vehicle used for this journey comes from the fleet belonging to LNVG (Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen), the transport authority of Lower Saxony, and has been in regular passenger operation on the network of evb (Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser GmbH) since mid-August. For the project, Alstom also partnered with the gas and engineering company Linde.

The distance is around 730 miles.

This paragraph describes the detailed route.

Starting in Bremervörde, the route took the Coradia iLint across Germany. From Lower Saxony, where the hydrogen train was built and developed by Alstom, it travelled through Hesse to Bavaria, all the way to Burghausen near the German-Austrian border before coming to a stop in Munich. Following this remarkable journey, the train will now head for the German capital. Several trips through Berlin are on the agenda as part of InnoTrans 2022, the premier International Trade Fair for Transport Technology, to be held from 20 to 23 September.

It looks to be a good test of a hydrogen-powered train.

It looks like Alstom believe that hydrogen trains can replace diesel ones, providing there is a source of hydrogen.

September 17, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cummins Fuel Cell Technology Powers Coradia iLint Fleet In Germany

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Green Car Congress.

This is the first paragraph.

Cummins is powering the world’s first fleet of hydrogen trains in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony, Germany. The Alstom Coradia iLint trains (earlier post) are outfitted with Cummins fuel cell systems and will run on the world’s first 100%-hydrogen train route in passenger operation. The first zero-emissions passenger trains in the 14-train fleet arrived in mid-summer.

I rode  the prototype in March 2019 and wrote My First Ride In An Alstom Coradia iLint.

I took this picture at the time.

Note.

  1. The new fleet seem to have a slightly different front end with a snow plough, and a new colour scheme.
  2. According to the article, the Cummins fuel cell systems were assembled in Germany.

I have a few thoughts.

Cummins Fuel Cells

I must admit, I was a bit surprised to see that Cummins fuel cells are being used, as most other companies seem to be using Ballard.

But, having worked with Cummins on diesel engine testing and seen their thoroughness, I’m sure that their fuel cells will do a good job.

Is The Cummins Choice About Marketing?

Consider.

  • Alstom has manufactured or assembled trains for the US market at Hornell, New York.
  • Cummins is a large United States company.
  • United States and Canadian railways are standard gauge, like most of Europe.
  • United States and Canadian railways have a lot of track mileage without electrification.
  • United States and Canadian railways use right hand running as does Germany.
  • The Coradia iLint doesn’t need any electrification.
  • The Coradia iLint has a range of 600–800 kilometres (370–500 mi) on a full tank of hydrogen.

I suspect that a German-specification, Coradia iLint might be possible to run in the United States and Canada, with only a different interior and signage.

If you are an Alstom train salesman in the United States, selling a commuter train to American cities and transit authorities, must be easier if the train has a substantial United States content.

I don’t think Cummins will be worried that the smart new train has their fuel cells, as it might help convert truck, van and car drivers to Cummins hydrogen technology.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn, that Alstom got a premium deal from Cummins.

Are Hydrogen-Powered Trains Suited To North America?

Consider.

  • There is a lot of track without electrification.
  • Distances are long, which makes electrification expensive.
  • Providing hydrogen for trains should be no more difficult than in Europe.
  • In my experience hydrogen trains are a better passenger experience than diesel, in terms of noise and vibration.

I suspect that Alstom/Cummins could sell a lot of hydrogen-powered trains in the North America.

 

August 28, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deutsche Bahn Puts Passengers On Alstom Battery-Electric Trains

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on electrive.com.

This is the introductory paragraph.

French manufacturer Alstom and Deutsche Bahn are now taking passengers onboard Alstom’s first fully approved electric train since this weekend in Baden-Württemberg. Further testing will start in Bavaria on 5 February and run throughout early May on all routes.

This paragraph describes where the train will be running.

On weekdays the battery-powered train will run in Baden-Württemberg on the Stuttgart – Horb line and Saturdays and Sundays, on the Pleinfeld – Gunzenhausen line in the Franconian Lake District. Alstom said this arrangement would maximise the train’s mileage while testing a variety of route profiles and battery charging scenarios. For example, while in Baden-Württemberg, charging occurs during the ongoing journey via overhead lines, in Bavaria, charging can only take place at stations, as the route in between is not electrified.

The article gives the impression that Alstom have ambitious plans for battery-electric and hydrogen trains in Germany.

This is confirmed by this press release on the Alstom web site, where this is a paragraph.

While Alstom’s hydrogen trains are optimised for longer routes, Alstom’s BEMUs are suitable for shorter routes or lines with non-electrified sections previously operated with diesel vehicles. Direct connections between electrified and non-electrified network sections are now possible and can be operated emission free, without the need of additional electrification – shortening the travel time between city and country.

It appears Alstom will be developing both types of trains.

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Alstom And DB To Kick Off Test Operations With Battery Electric Train

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on RailTech.com.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Alstom and Deutsche Bahn (DB) are set to enter into service Alstom’s Battery Electric Multiple Unit (BEMU) for trial runs. The test operations will commence on January 24 in the state of Baden-Württemberg, followed by passenger services in neighbouring Bavaria from February 5th onwards. The tests will conclude in May 2022.

It does finally appear that battery electric multiple units (BEMUs) are being seen on the railway.

January 21, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

When Will Energy Storage Funds Take The Leap To New Technology?

This article on the Motley Fool is entitled 3 UK Dividend Shares To Buy Yielding 6%.

This is a paragraph from the article.

The first company on my list is the Gore Street Energy Storage Fund (LSE: GSF). With a dividend yield of just over 6%, at the time of writing, I think this company looks incredibly attractive as an income investment. It is also an excellent way for me to build exposure to the green energy industry.

Just as everybody has a fridge in their house to stop food being wasted, electricity networks with a lot of intermittent resources like wind and solar, needs a device to store electricity, so that it isn’t wasted.

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund is being very safe and conservative at the current time, often using batteries from one of Elon Musk’s companies.

You can’t fault that, but they are only barely making a dent in the amount of batteries that will be needed.

If we are generating tens of GW of wind energy, then we need batteries at the GWh level, whereas at the moment a typical battery in Gore Street’s portfolio has only an output of a few megawatts. They don’t state the capacity in MWh.

There is this statement on their web site, about the technology they use.

Although the projects comprising the Seed Portfolio utilise lithium-ion batteries and much of the pipeline of investments identified by the Company are also expected to utilise lithium-ion batteries, the Company is generally agnostic about which technology it utilises in its energy storage projects. The Company does not presently see any energy storage technology which is a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries. However, there are a number of technologies which are being researched which if successfully commercialised, could prove over time more favourable and the Company will closely monitor such developing technologies.

They say they are agnostic about technology and are looking around, but they are sticking with lithium-ion technology.

That technology works, is safe and gives a good return.

But they are at least thinking about moving to new technology.

In the rail industry, it is common for rail leasing companies to get together with train manufacturers or remanufacturers to develop new trains.

As an example, Eversholt Rail and Alstom formed a partnership to develop a hydrogen-powered train for the UK, which I wrote about in Alstom And Eversholt Rail Sign An Agreement For The UK’s First Ever Brand-New Hydrogen Train Fleet.

Worldwide, there are probably upwards of a dozen very promising energy storage technologies, so I am very surprised that energy storage funds, like Gore Street and Gresham House have not announced any development deals.

Conclusion

Energy storage funds could benefit from using some of the financing methods used by rolling stock leasing companies.

December 13, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Are Alstom Going To Build All FLEXX Eco Bogies For The UK In Crewe?

The Zefiro 300 is a high speed train, that was built by a consortium of Bombardier and Hitachi Rail in Italy.

This is said in the Wikipedia entry for the Zefiro 300.

An evolution of the Italian version of the Zefiro 300 was also offered by Bombardier (joined with Hitachi Rail) for High Speed 2 commercial tender.

Note that the Zefiro 300 uses FLEXX Eco bogies.

Aventras also use these bogies, as do some other Bombardier trains in the UK, like Class 172 trains.

In The Value of Research, I said this about FLEXX Eco bogies.

Sad though, that although design is still in the UK, the bogies are now made in Germany. Here‘s the brochure.

The brochure link doesn’t work anymore.

Conclusion

I think it would not be a bad commercial and operational decision by Alstom to build and maintain all FLEXX Eco bogies for the UK in one factory at Crewe.

December 10, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alstom And Liebherr Sign A Collaboration Agreement, In Order To Optimise Hydrogen Fuel Cells

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Alstom.

The press release starts with these points.

  • Liebherr is developing air management technology that is particularly well suited to hydrogen fuel cells.

  • Alstom’s hydrogen strategy is part of its ambition to innovate by pioneering smarter and greener mobility solutions for all.

This paragraph then gives the basic outline of the agreement.

Alstom has signed a collaboration agreement with Liebherr – Aerospace & Transportation SAS, a France-based company specialising in the manufacture of compressors for fuel cells. This agreement is aimed at optimising hydrogen systems, including improving the reliability and durability of fuel cells, increasing their power density and reducing the cost of such solutions.

The press release gives a lot more details about Alstom’s hydrogen collaborations with other companies

Alstom seem very serious about hydrogen-powered trains.

November 30, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , | 1 Comment

BP Plans To Turn Teesside Into First Green Hydrogen Hub

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

BP plans to build Britain’s biggest “green hydrogen” facility on Teesside to produce the clean fuel for use in new hydrogen-powered lorries and other transport.

Note.

The plans appear to be ambitious starting with a £100 million investment to build a 60 MW electrolyser by 2025, which would rise to as much as 500 MW by 2030.

The electrolyser will be paired with an upwards of a billion pound one gigawatt facility called H2Teesside, that will produce blue hydrogen.

I think there could be more to this than meets the eye.

Using The Carbon Dioxide Rather than Storing It!

I followed the carbon dioxide pipe from the CF fertiliser plant on Teesside using Google maps after seeing a film about it on the BBC. It goes to the Quorn factory and a massive greenhouse. I do wonder, if BP is talking to other companies, who also have a need for large quantities of good quality carbon dioxide.

One could be an Australian company, called Mineral Carbonation International, who have developed a process to convert carbon dioxide into building products like blocks and plasterboard. MCI won a prize at COP26, so could BP be looking at integrating one of these plants into their complex on Teesside?

The Electrolysers

Will BP be purchasing their electrolysers for green hydrogen from ITM Power in Sheffield?

This press release from ITM Power is entitled 12MW Electrolyser Sale.

The customer is not named, but could this be a starter kit for BP?

Alstom’s Hydrogen Aventras

In Alstom And Eversholt Rail Sign An Agreement For The UK’s First Ever Brand-New Hydrogen Train Fleet, I came to this conclusion.

This modern hydrogen train from Alstom is what is needed.

I also felt there could be three similar trains; electric, battery-electric and hydrogen, which would help operators hedge their bets on what type of traction to use.

Teesside must be one of the more likelier places where the Hydrogen Aventras will be carrying passengers.

I wrote about this possibility in Alstom Hydrogen Aventras And Teesside.

A deal between BP and Alstom would surely be in the interest of both companies.

  • Alstom would get a local hydrogen supply.
  • BP would get a first sale.
  • BP would get excellent publicity and a local demonstration of the possibilities of hydrogen.

It might even be possible to supply the hydrogen by pipeline.

November 29, 2021 Posted by | Finance, Hydrogen, World | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

CAF To Acquire Alstom’s Coradia Polyvalent Platform

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Technology.

It looks like the EC’s conditions of Alstom’s takeover of Bombardier are as follows.

  • Coradia Polyvalent platform goes to CAF.
  • French Reichshoffen production site to CAF.
  • Talent3 platform to CAF.
  • Rights to the IP involved in the Hitachi/Bombardier joint venture to develop high speed trains goes to Hitachi.

It is interesting that there is no mention of the Aventra. But then in Alstom And Eversholt Rail Sign An Agreement For The UK’s First Ever Brand-New Hydrogen Train Fleet, I talked about Alstom’s new hydrogen-powered train based on the Aventra.

Perhaps, the Aventra was the stand-out design in Bombardier’s portfolio?

After all Alstom have already designed a hydrogen-powered train based on the platform

November 25, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is The Alstom Hydrogen Train Powered By A Fuel Cell?

In Alstom And Eversholt Rail Sign An Agreement For The UK’s First Ever Brand-New Hydrogen Train Fleet, I mentioned that Alstom’s Hydrogen Aventra could be powered by either a small gas turbine or a fuel cell or cells, but I didn’t plump for one or the other. I said this.

If you look at the proportions of the Alstom hydrogen train and the pictures of Class 710 trains, I feel that the Alstom train could have the longer twenty-four metre cars.

It may be a tight fit compared to creating the Alstom Coradia iLint hydrogen train, but I would feel it is possible to install a fuel cell or cells, the required cooling and the hydrogen tanks, having seen cutaway drawings of hydrogen-powered double-deck buses on the Wrightbus web site.

Interestingly, the Alstom press release doesn’t mention fuel cells, so could the train be powered by a small gas turbine?

I think it is unlikely, but it is technically feasible.

I had forgotten one important factor. Both the Aventra factory and Rolls-Royce are in Derby and I know from talking to a retired British Rail engineer, that there is a lot of contact between the two companies at an informal level.

Rolls-Royce have published this picture of their beer keg-sized generator.

Would it need the cooling system, which appears to be needed with a fuel-cell?

The Rolls-Royce Advantage

There would surely be advantages in using a Rolls-Royce gas turbine to power the train.

  • Having a Rolls-Royce power unit must help sales of your plane or train.
  • There is the Derby connection.
  • Alstom already deal with Rolls-Royce subsidiary; MTU for diesel engines for freight locomotives.

Could we be seeing a hydrogen multiple unit powered by a gas turbine?

November 23, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 6 Comments