Energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions analysis for a concept design of a hydrogen hybrid railway vehicle

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Diesel is the most common energy source used by many railway vehicles globally but it also has an impact on the environment due to carbon emissions from the diesel engine. Railway electrification is an effective way to reduce emissions but fails to be a very cost effective solution particularly for routes where passenger traffic is low. This study has undertaken a propulsion system concept design based on a vehicle similar to the British class 150 diesel-powered vehicle. A return journey was simulated over the British regional route Birmingham Moor Street to Stratford-upon-Avon to set a benchmark for the development of hydrogen-powered and hydrogen-hybrid trains. A fuel cell power plant and hydrogen compressed at 350 bars were used as part of the concept design. It was found that all the components essential for the train propulsion system can be installed within the space available on original diesel-powered class 150 train. The installation of equipment does not compromise passenger capacity and weighs similar to original class 150. Energy consumption was reduced by 44% on the hydrogen-powered train and by 60% on the hydrogen-hybrid train. Carbon-dioxide emissions were reduced by 59% using the hydrogen-powered train and by 77% using the hydrogen-hybrid train.


Original languageEnglish
JournalIET Electrical Systems in Transportation
Early online date7 Nov 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Nov 2017

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