Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses are here can Hydro Locos be that far behind?

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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses are here can Hydro Locos be that far behind?
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, June 07, 2018 12:50 PM

Rode a Hydro Electrict Fuel Cell bus in Canton OH. Clean Quiet like a trolley bus but no need for wires

https://www.sartaonline.com/hydrogen-fuel-cell

https://www.railengineer.uk/2016/11/04/and-now-hydrogen-power-alstoms-new-fuel-cell-powered-train/

BNSF tried this on switcher in 2008 but no word what happened to the project-

https://www.railengineer.uk/2016/11/04/and-now-hydrogen-power-alstoms-new-fuel-cell-powered-train/

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Friday, June 08, 2018 9:31 AM

All you examples have low prime mover power. The bus one fuel-cell of 150 kW, the Alstom iLINT two fuel-cells with together 400 kW and the BNSF HH20B #1205 two fuel-cells of together.

The BNSF is more a battery locomotive with a fuel-cell loader.

Fuel-cell EMUs cost about 75% more than their DMU counterparts. So there is the higher purchase price. The difference was paid for by German government in the iLINT purchase.

You need to build an H2-infrastructure and first of all produce enough H2. As long as H2 isn't produced with solar or wind energie or other renewables it is almost as dirty as diesel.

I don't know how operating costs (diesel fuel, H2-fuel, different fuel consumption, and system efficiencies etc.) play out.

Here is some information about the BNSF HH20B.
- Before being built: https://uic.org/cdrom/2008/11_wcrr2008/pdf/R.2.2.3.3.pdf
- And after completion: www.apta.com/mc/rail/previous/2010/Papers/Demonstration-of-a-Hydrogen-Fuel-Cell-Locomotive.pdf

BNSF got a patent in 2012: U.S. Patent Number 8117969: https://patents.google.com/patent/US8117969

The locomotive was repainted in 2014. It is still in Trains magazine's BNSF roster.
Regards, Volker

 

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Friday, June 08, 2018 2:18 PM

Just learned that Canton Ohio Bus gets there Hydrogen trucked in from Sarnia ON by the truckload. So the carbon footprint by the Diesal Truck bringing in the Hydro from 250 miles away probaly exceeds what they are saving.

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Posted by HR616 on Friday, June 08, 2018 8:18 PM

GO Transit in Toronto is seriously looking into Hydrogen power. They have already commissioned Alstom/Siemens to prepare a bilevel fuel cell electric multiple unit concept design. They are also considering commissioning a fuel cell locomotive prototype. However, their documents state that a single Hydrogen locomotive would only be able to pull six cars (compared to the twelve pulled by MPI Diesels). 

http://www.metrolinx.com/en/news/announcements/hydrail-resources/CPG-PGM-RPT-245_HydrailFeasibilityReport_R1.pdf 

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Posted by guetem1 on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 2:35 AM
a recent interview with BNSF CEO Matt Rose indicated that BNSF was no longer interested in fuel cell technology and was now more interested in battery power
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:38 AM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
You need to build an H2-infrastructure and first of all produce enough H2. As long as H2 isn't produced with solar or wind energie or other renewables it is almost as dirty as diesel.

I wish Volker had put much more emphasis on this point, which is one of the most significant in the iLINT planning.

Germany eschewed development or operation of French-style nuclear baseline power in favor of renewable technologies, notably wind.  These now produce substantial excess (but somewhat variable) power during parts of an average 24-hour day, which can easily be used for 'clean footprint' hydrogen generation.

The iLINT storage, distribution, and railcar fueling arrangements are all outsourced to a company specializing in this (Linde, I think).  This was reminiscent of Tom Blasingame's arranging for all fueling and ash removal for modern steam-turbine electric locomotives to be outsourced at fixed cost by experienced vendors or ventures.  Arguments have been made that the price to provide this is 'higher' in Germany because government agencies are willing to support a higher factor price for hydrogen (in part because of its carbon-reduction action, in part for pollution reduction) but I think the importance of guaranteed outsourced fueling of esoteric fuels can't be overemphasized even in fully for-profit applications.

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Posted by rrnut282 on Saturday, July 28, 2018 9:40 AM

Won't they they have to bring back tenders?  Energy density means it will take a significant volume to have any range as railroads like to define it.

Mike (2-8-2)
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, July 28, 2018 10:43 AM

rrnut282
Won't they they have to bring back tenders?

For freight, yes, probably.  But that's true for CNG and LNG alternatives as well.  The battery-hybrid design that works so well for fuel-cell DMU derivatives will not scale to American freight-consist size and required hourly power ratings well -- it's basically replacing the small pony genset in something like a Green Goat with a more efficient electron pump, and we all know how successful small engines in road power have been.  There will have to be much more effective political 'setasides' and subsidies for something like carbon cap and trade before locomotives with very large high-power-density battery strings and high-amperage fuel cell stacks become cost-effective in North America.  And then we can take up the renewable-energy-supplied hydrogen infrastructure development needed to support them...

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, July 28, 2018 11:41 AM

CandOforprogress2
Just learned that Canton Ohio Bus gets there Hydrogen trucked in from Sarnia ON by the truckload. So the carbon footprint by the Diesal Truck bringing in the Hydro from 250 miles away probaly exceeds what they are saving.

My definition of "here" would be in mass transit service daily in a major city for a period of over 3 years.   Currently the United States only has 300 electric buses operating in the entire country.     They have not been proven viable in regular service.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, August 09, 2018 6:46 AM

Maybe only 300 battery-powered buses, there are certainly a lot more trolley buses in daily operation.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by GERALD L MCFARLANE JR on Friday, August 10, 2018 1:28 PM

CMStPnP
CandOforprogress2
Just learned that Canton Ohio Bus gets there Hydrogen trucked in from Sarnia ON by the truckload. So the carbon footprint by the Diesal Truck bringing in the Hydro from 250 miles away probaly exceeds what they are saving.

 

My definition of "here" would be in mass transit service daily in a major city for a period of over 3 years.   Currently the United States only has 300 electric buses operating in the entire country.     They have not been proven viable in regular service.

 

 
 We've had Hydrogen Fuel Cell buses operating here in Santa Clara County under the VTA for a minimum of 3 years now at least.  They're easy to spot and run every single day, but there are also people here that own hydrogen powered personal vehicles and I know of at least one service station that has a hydrogen pump(just like a regular gas pump).  Electric buses and Hydrogen Fuel Cell buses are two entirely different concepts, but maybe you didn't realize that and just lumped them all together in the same category.
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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, August 10, 2018 9:17 PM

GERALD L MCFARLANE JR
 We've had Hydrogen Fuel Cell buses operating here in Santa Clara County under the VTA for a minimum of 3 years now at least.  They're easy to spot and run every single day, but there are also people here that own hydrogen powered personal vehicles and I know of at least one service station that has a hydrogen pump(just like a regular gas pump).  Electric buses and Hydrogen Fuel Cell buses are two entirely different concepts, but maybe you didn't realize that and just lumped them all together in the same category.

Heh, I think you have a misconception in more than one area....  

First, it is an Electric Bus because all the Fuel Cell does is generate power for the electric motors that actually move the bus.   Electricity drives the bus not the Hydrogen, hydogen just provides the fuel to generate the electricity.   Unlike a fossil fuel bus there is no mechanical connection to the drive train so it can't be claimed the fuel source drives the bus.   This is why Diesel locomotives were originally referred to as Diesel Electrics.....same concept.   Remove the Hydrogen Fuel Source and you have an Electric Bus.

Second this is a demonstration project and it is not a large major city as I specified.    It is by no means commercial use of the buses and I have my doubts they have been released for sale beyond the demonstration project.    So no, it does not qualify yet.    Has to be in commerical use at least three years in my book to prove itself.   Government funded experiments do not count.

I can't see Locomotive Builders releasing a new model for commercial sale prior to the Feds approving it and/or a certification process that the method is reliable in various environments or uses.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Friday, August 10, 2018 9:22 PM

CSSHEGEWISCH
Maybe only 300 battery-powered buses, there are certainly a lot more trolley buses in daily operation.

Yes, I meant where the vehicle carrys the fuel source with it.

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