Alstom considers Hydrogen train trial a success after 110,000 miles

 

News article: Alstom considers Hydrogen train trial a success after 110,000 miles

After 530 days, and more than 180,000km (around 110,000 miles) driven, the trialling the world’s first two hydrogen trains has been a success.

  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Impressive distances for the two units used for the trial means they could go into more production for europe who have a focus on carbon emission reductions across the continent unlike in Australia. NSW does have electrification but this is mainly power coming from coal generation, Victoria maybe similar, Queensland like all coal.  Diesel trains are used extensively in Victoria who has not embraced electrification even when their renewable energy targets are admiral. Sadly Victoria probably runs the biggest fleet of Diesel hauled trains of any state or territory for passenger use.  

I am keen to understand if the Alstom solution contained in the article could be used in Australia and what would it require to run some test units out in this country but where would you run them?

A combination of frequent stopping verses longer express running should be considered for the testing.  target runs for longer distances could include Adelaide to Port Augusta or Adelaide to Port Pirie, Sydney to Parkes, Melbourne to Albury or Albury to Wagga or Ballarat to Kaniva was testing would require standard gauge as the rolling stock comes in this format.

Is it time for Australia to consider hydrogen powered trains?

Alstom considers Hydrogen train trial a success after 110,000 miles

Sponsored advertisement

  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Absolutely it can be considered. The issue is it economical commercially? The current problem is that it takes more energy to create the energy value for Hydrogen.

So for the Australian context, black coal power stations will generate energy to produce hydrogen with less energy. Currently the focus is to generate hydrogen using renewal sources.

Hydrogen has been used for years in Europe, eg Buses in Madrid, Garbage trucks in some metros etc. However you will find that they have government support and are not full commercial. If it was the case you see it globally.

One day we will use Hydrogen more broadly on a commercial scale, but at the moment it will only apply when Government invests.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Absolutely it can be considered. The issue is it economical commercially? The current problem is that it takes more energy to create the energy value for Hydrogen.
Big J

Perhaps incorrectly I have been laboring under the guise all that that was required for fuel in these units is H2O or water?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Absolutely it can be considered. The issue is it economical commercially? The current problem is that it takes more energy to create the energy value for Hydrogen.
Perhaps incorrectly I have been laboring under the guise all that that was required for fuel in these units is H2O or water?
NSWGR8022
Yes, that is incorrect. Water is not the fuel, it is the 'exhaust' product.

Hydrogen gas is not something we can 'mine' simply, it has to be produced from some sort of feedstock (of which water is one option) using chemical processes. Depending on the feedstock used, these processes will either use much more electricity than the resulting hydrogen fuel can supply (a bit like ethanol fuels) or will produce large amounts of greenhouse gases as byproducts (which defeats the purpose of the exercise) or both.

Hydrogen in transport also has safety issues. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for these Hindenburg Trains to be assigned to the scrapheap of history after the first time that one goes bang.

These trains are best viewed as interesting technological demonstrators, not as a viable way forward at this point in time. Used appropriately, they will help stimulate development of better hydrogen production methods, but there's also the problem that politicians will be dazzled by the presentations featuring people in lab coats and divert money away from shovel-ready conventional electrification projects.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
I was way of in thinking how the technology worked with hydrogen being the input and water being the waste from the process.  I appreciate you advising me of this.

Recently the Victorian Government announced $2.7b in COVID funding.  I have not see any such announcements from the NSW Government doing similar but I note from a different thread the amount being spent on rail is only $270m.  If large investments in infrastructure post covid19 are required to keep the economy moving should Vic consider more electrification to reduce the diesel carbon emissions currently being experienced?  With so many diesel trains this would make far more sense especially given the climate change movement and the amount of diesel DMU's in Victoria operating on short routes.  By extending electrification victoria could reduce the DMU's by number and use 100% green power which as a percentage of generation in Victoria is increasing.

Why has this not been considered in light of the risks and dangerous of running Hydrogen units?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Recently the Victorian Government announced $2.7b in COVID funding.  I have not see any such announcements from the NSW Government doing similar but I note from a different thread the amount being spent on rail is only $270m.
NSWGR8022
Quite generous of Chairman Dan to let rail have 10% of the total spend and 45% of the component spent on transport (the non-transport part is for other community infrastructure such as schools), wouldn't you say?

If large investments in infrastructure post covid19 are required to keep the economy moving should Vic consider more electrification to reduce the diesel carbon emissions currently being experienced?  With so many diesel trains this would make far more sense especially given the climate change movement and the amount of diesel DMU's in Victoria operating on short routes.  By extending electrification victoria could reduce the DMU's by number and use 100% green power which as a percentage of generation in Victoria is increasing.

Why has this not been considered in light of the risks and dangerous of running Hydrogen units?
NSWGR8022
Because they have enough diesel trains that they can avoid the issues with becoming an early adopter of Hindenburg Trains without having to spend money on electrification.

NSW is already delivering on better utilisation of electrification by acquiring bi-mode regional trains which will be able to shut down their diesel engines once they are running under the wires. Victoria could do the same, halt VLocity production and tell Bombardier to make them a VLocity 2 with a bi-mode drivetrain.

I'm not a massive fan of the Berejiklian government, but I do appreciate the way they are getting on with it when it comes to transport.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last

Because they have enough diesel trains that they can avoid the issues with becoming an early adopter of Hindenburg Trains without having to spend money on electrification.

NSW is already delivering on better utilisation of electrification by acquiring bi-mode regional trains which will be able to shut down their diesel engines once they are running under the wires. Victoria could do the same, halt VLocity production and tell Bombardier to make them a VLocity 2 with a bi-mode drivetrain.

I'm not a massive fan of the Berejiklian government, but I do appreciate the way they are getting on with it when it comes to transport.
justapassenger
Indeed Victoria has nearly enough DMU, and expanding.

Bi-mode in Victoria is a dead duck ( not lame, restin, pinnin  - it's no more, ceased to be, expired, stiff, bereft of life, pushing up daisies).

All so you could run under wires a grand summary of
Sunshine RRL 0km
Sunbury 38km
Craigeburn 26km (BG only)
Pakenham 58km
Saving on Desiel fuel and greenhouse gasses, SFA

On the other hand hydrogen for 100% of the passenger fleet  ( do we call them HMU ?) is an attractive replacement when somebody else proves the merit and removes all the bugs.

Remember Alstrom has a proof of concept and they now own Bombardier.
There is a perpetual pipe dream of manufacturing Hydrogen from brown coal in Gippsland. Maybe in the same time-frame that will happen.

cheers
John
  GoldenGirl Locomotive Fireman


Because they have enough diesel trains that they can avoid the issues with becoming an early adopter of Hindenburg Trains without having to spend money on electrification.

NSW is already delivering on better utilisation of electrification by acquiring bi-mode regional trains which will be able to shut down their diesel engines once they are running under the wires. Victoria could do the same, halt VLocity production and tell Bombardier to make them a VLocity 2 with a bi-mode drivetrain.

I'm not a massive fan of the Berejiklian government, but I do appreciate the way they are getting on with it when it comes to transport.Indeed Victoria has nearly enough DMU, and expanding.

Bi-mode in Victoria is a dead duck ( not lame, restin, pinnin  - it's no more, ceased to be, expired, stiff, bereft of life, pushing up daisies).

All so you could run under wires a grand summary of
Sunshine RRL 0km
Sunbury 38km
Craigeburn 26km (BG only)
Pakenham 58km
Saving on Desiel fuel and greenhouse gasses, SFA

On the other hand hydrogen for 100% of the passenger fleet  ( do we call them HMU ?) is an attractive replacement when somebody else proves the merit and removes all the bugs.

Remember Alstrom has a proof of concept and they now own Bombardier.
There is a perpetual pipe dream of manufacturing Hydrogen from brown coal in Gippsland. Maybe in the same time-frame that will happen.

cheers
John
justarider
"There is a perpetual pipe dream of manufacturing Hydrogen from brown coal in Gippsland. Maybe in the same time-frame that will happen."

I tried sucking hydrogen out of the brown coal down my way and got bugger all.....
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
"There is a perpetual pipe dream of manufacturing Hydrogen from brown coal in Gippsland. Maybe in the same time-frame that will happen."

I tried sucking hydrogen out of the brown coal down my way and got bugger all.....
GoldenGirl

This theme has almost convinced myself hydrogen is decades away as a method of reducing carbon emissions on transport services mainly trains who are powered by diesel fuel. Yesterday the Vic Government announced they would be providing subsidies for renewable power generation projects around the state. https://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/victoria-splashes-out-on-renewable-energy/news-story/42b581b54b0eb798fa7edf5c749fef8f?btr=598f17f3d8ced48cfb5f049aaa6be313

That being the case why in all the money being allocated to transport projects have the government there not decided to remove some diesel trains on for example the Geelong or Gippsland lines by rolling out overhead thereby using renewable energy?

If Victoria wants to see itself as undertaking green projects and reducing emissions then why not consider overhead projects?
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
"There is a perpetual pipe dream of manufacturing Hydrogen from brown coal in Gippsland. Maybe in the same time-frame that will happen."

I tried sucking hydrogen out of the brown coal down my way and got bugger all.....

This theme has almost convinced myself hydrogen is decades away as a method of reducing carbon emissions on transport services mainly trains who are powered by diesel fuel. Yesterday the Vic Government announced they would be providing subsidies for renewable power generation projects around the state. https://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/victoria-splashes-out-on-renewable-energy/news-story/42b581b54b0eb798fa7edf5c749fef8f?btr=598f17f3d8ced48cfb5f049aaa6be313

That being the case why in all the money being allocated to transport projects have the government there not decided to remove some diesel trains on for example the Geelong or Gippsland lines by rolling out overhead thereby using renewable energy?

If Victoria wants to see itself as undertaking green projects and reducing emissions then why not consider overhead projects?
NSWGR8022
for $15mill , yeah some solar panels on train roofs. I like it.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Bi-mode in Victoria is a dead duck ( not lame, restin, pinnin  - it's no more, ceased to be, expired, stiff, bereft of life, pushing up daisies).

All so you could run under wires a grand summary of
Sunshine RRL 0km
Sunbury 38km
Craigeburn 26km (BG only)
Pakenham 58km
Saving on Desiel fuel and greenhouse gasses, SFA
justarider
The benefit of removing diesel particulate emissions from the sectors of the V/Line network which are most populated still stands though.

Want more benefit from bi-mode? String up wires on more of the network. It would be the perfect post-pandemic stimulus program, providing good honest work for locals and built mostly from Australian raw materials.

On the other hand hydrogen for 100% of the passenger fleet  ( do we call them HMU ?) is an attractive replacement when somebody else proves the merit and removes all the bugs.
justarider
The time needed to make it workable outside the carefully controlled environment of Alstom's technology demonstration is unknown.

There's every chance that it will be permanently 'five years away' like cold fusion, meaning that an alternative plan will be required for when the oldest VLocity cars are clapped out.

Honda started playing with hydrogen fuel cell technology in cars nearly 20 years ago, and they have still only progressed it as far as having demo cars that can be leased for driving in a restricted area.

Remember Alstrom (sic) … now own Bombardier.
justarider
Alstom's shareholders have not voted on it yet and it's not guaranteed to get up.

Bombardier Transportation was a distressed asset even before the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
So @justapassenger, your solution is save the Metro area and a few extensions from nasty particulate matter
BUT
tough luck for rest of the state/country/world
they can put up with all that smeg for ever more.

Sure you could spark V/line. But that means every single kilometer to make the difference needed.

You just dont get it about polution - its spreads everywhere. Cleaning up means clean up everywhere.

Thats what renewable energy is about, what battery cars are about.

For PT, efforts and big $$ are being put into such things as Batteries and Hydrogen. There will be others.
Bi-mode diesel/electric is 1950s leading edge technology. We're now in the 2020s.

cheers
John
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Even if the NSW trains weren't bi modal the diesel electric traction and the new more efficient engines were going to make them use significantly fewer carbon emissions then anything else around the country. Bi modal might not be the way forward in Victoria but they should still be looking at the diesel electric setup in the new regional fleet for use in future vlocity trains.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Not having this more modern setup is one reason bombardier pulled out of the tender. The vlocity is just a newer Endeavour / Xplorer whereas the CAF / UGL proposal allowed for these new more efficient technologies and there is no more central exhaust system and 2 engines per carriage. Bi modal operation is just the cherry on the top that makes things even more flexible.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

So @justapassenger, your solution is save the Metro area and a few extensions from nasty particulate matter
BUT
tough luck for rest of the state/country/world
they can put up with all that smeg for ever more.

Sure you could spark V/line. But that means every single kilometer to make the difference needed.

You just dont get it about polution - its spreads everywhere. Cleaning up means clean up everywhere.

Thats what renewable energy is about, what battery cars are about.

For PT, efforts and big $$ are being put into such things as Batteries and Hydrogen. There will be others.
Bi-mode diesel/electric is 1950s leading edge technology. We're now in the 2020s.

cheers
John
justarider
Quite the opposite, my suggestion is to get started on an integrated approach that would start delivering real improvements almost immediately. Your idea of betting everything on the hydrogen fairy is far worse, because it's a recipe for doing nothing for however many decades it would take to make it workable outside of a controlled technology/publicity demonstration.

An integrated approach would start with extending electrification from the metro area outwards. The gains are higher (because all V/Line services go to/from Melbourne) and if you have to start somewhere you may as well start from the current limit of electrification.

Simultaneously alongside the rolling electrification program, put out a competitive tender for modular bi-mode electric/diesel sets which would allow for replacement of the diesel module with a battery module (once the wires are extended far enough to bring batteries into play for the remaining distance off the wires) or a fuel cell module (if/when they ever become practical).

Once the bi-mode services are running on electric power in the metro area and the outer commuter belt served by the first electrification extensions, the increased property values (from improved air quality and reduced railway noise) would result in increases in land tax receipts which could (setting aside the Chairman Dan Credit Card problem for the sake of debate) go back into the system and help pay for the next round of electrification extension.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
So @justapassenger, your solution is save the Metro area and a few extensions from nasty particulate matter
BUT
tough luck for rest of the state/country/world
they can put up with all that smeg for ever more.

Sure you could spark V/line. But that means every single kilometer to make the difference needed.

You just dont get it about polution - its spreads everywhere. Cleaning up means clean up everywhere.

Thats what renewable energy is about, what battery cars are about.

For PT, efforts and big $$ are being put into such things as Batteries and Hydrogen. There will be others.
Bi-mode diesel/electric is 1950s leading edge technology. We're now in the 2020s.

cheers
John
Quite the opposite, my suggestion is to get started on an integrated approach that would start delivering real improvements almost immediately. Your idea of betting everything on the hydrogen fairy is far worse, because it's a recipe for doing nothing for however many decades it would take to make it workable outside of a controlled technology/publicity demonstration.

An integrated approach would start with extending electrification from the metro area outwards. The gains are higher (because all V/Line services go to/from Melbourne) and if you have to start somewhere you may as well start from the current limit of electrification.

Simultaneously alongside the rolling electrification program, put out a competitive tender for modular bi-mode electric/diesel sets which would allow for replacement of the diesel module with a battery module (once the wires are extended far enough to bring batteries into play for the remaining distance off the wires) or a fuel cell module (if/when they ever become practical).

Once the bi-mode services are running on electric power in the metro area and the outer commuter belt served by the first electrification extensions, the increased property values (from improved air quality and reduced railway noise) would result in increases in land tax receipts which could (setting aside the Chairman Dan Credit Card problem for the sake of debate) go back into the system and help pay for the next round of electrification extension.
justapassenger
"hydrogen fairy" - really ?
Well that fantasy is actually going mainstream in 2 years.

And the alternate suggested is a unit that can swap deisel, battery, fuel cell modules; AND be bimodal with overhead sparks.
Does not exist anywhere in the world and you think any manufacturer would contemplate doing it for a minuscule production run like Victoria.
That is true fantasy.

Only existing and proven ( ie "cheap") technology is going to be bought.
Today that is Deisel.  
Hydrogen is an option starting 2 years, probably 5 for biggish production.
Putting up sparks is not cheap - and ugly, not good for property values.

Like em or hate em,  Vlocity are the standard fleet to keep costs down.  V/Line can't get rid of the others quick enough.
Same thing for the next generation which is at least 10 years away  - a standard fleet that can be used on all lines of the network,  that are bog simple and uncomplicated IE single-mode.

PS: you prevoiusly suggested, hydrogen is a non-starter because car manufacturers are finding it difficult.
A simple difference between car and trains - CARS CRASH A LOT -TRAINS DO NOT.

cheers
John
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

And the alternate suggested is a unit that can swap deisel, battery, fuel cell modules; AND be bimodal with overhead sparks.
Does not exist anywhere in the world and you think any manufacturer would contemplate doing it for a minuscule production run like Victoria.
That is true fantasy.
justarider
Hitachi and Stadler are already building bi-mode multiple units with modular layouts allowing for the self-powered option to be a diesel engine or a battery pack as required, or to go without and be pure EMUs.

Not a stretch to assume they'll also allow for hydrogen fuel cells too if they ever become a practical option.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
And the alternate suggested is a unit that can swap deisel, battery, fuel cell modules; AND be bimodal with overhead sparks.
Does not exist anywhere in the world and you think any manufacturer would contemplate doing it for a minuscule production run like Victoria.
That is true fantasy.
Hitachi and Stadler are already building bi-mode multiple units with modular layouts allowing for the self-powered option to be a diesel engine or a battery pack as required, or to go without and be pure EMUs.

Not a stretch to assume they'll also allow for hydrogen fuel cells too if they ever become a practical option.
justapassenger
Fascinating and what will that do for Vic ?

Deisel module - long range so why bother with entending the sparks piece
Battery module - great for about 100km - hooray for Stony Point. All other lines, may as well electrify the whole way - Nar!!
Fuel Cell module - clean & green, even in tunnels - why bother with sparks at all

All 3 options don't make sense to expand sparks behond what is required for Metro (which might include Geelong)

cheers
John

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: Big J, NSWGR8022

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.