A consortium of 10 Spanish companies aims to design, build and install a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system on a high-speed train.

The world-first Hympulso project will develop a set of technologies that can be applied to the Talgo 250 high-speed tilting train, making it possible to electrify the rail network with energy generated entirely from renewable sources, even on lines without overhead power lines.

The project will develop mobile and static hydrogen supply installations, and a prototype of a hybrid bimodal train for passengers, which will use catenary supply when available or hydrogen and batteries in sections of the network that have not been electrified.

The trains have two technical end cars (CET), which are currently used to generate electricity from diesel to power the traction units on sections without catenary. Under the Hympulso project, one of the CETs will be equipped with fuel cells and batteries to supply electricity to the locomotives using 100% green hydrogen.

Led by Talgo, the project partners also include: Ingeteam, which will design, manufacture and test reversible high-power converters, capable of charging the batteries from the catenary; Repsol and Golendus, which will be responsible for developing two hydrogen refuelling facilities; Sener, which will carry out an overall risk analysis and a simulation of the services; and Optimus3D, which will develop efficient and durable new materials based on additive manufacturing.

Comillas Pontifical University and Tecnalia will also collaborate on the project, and Adif will observe.

The scheme has received a €6.5m grant, and is part of Spain’s Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (Pertes).

Extracted from IMechE website, read more here

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