Fuel cell and battery-powered train reaches 80 km/h in Salzgitter tests
Alstom has performed the first test run at 80 km/h of its fuel cell-powered Coradia iLint passenger train.
The run was conducted on the company’s test track in Salzgitter, Germany, ahead of an extensive test campaign in Germany and Czech Republic in the coming months.
The first passenger test runs will begin on the Buxtehude–Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven (Germany) route beginning of 2018.
According to Alstom, the four-week test runs currently undergoing in Salzgitter aim at confirming the stability of the energy supply system based on coordinated interaction between the drive, the fuel cell and the battery of the vehicle. The braking power is also being tested to check the interface between the pneumatic and the electric brake.
The Coradia iLint is the first low-floor passenger train worldwide powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. In addition to a fuel cell, the concept also combines flexible energy storage in batteries, and a smart management of the traction power and available energy. Based on Alstom’s flagship Coradia Lint diesel train, Coradia iLint is particularly suited for operation on non-electrified networks. It enables sustainable train operation while maintaining high train performance.
“This test run is a significant milestone in environmental protection and technical innovation. With the Coradia iLint and its fuel cell technology, Alstom is the first railway manufacturer to offer a zero-emission alternative for mass transit trains. Today our new traction system, so far successfully proved on the test ring, is used on a train for the first time – a major step towards cleaner mobility in Europe“, said Didier Pfleger, Vice President of Alstom Germany and Austria.
The dynamic tests are performed at Salzgitter plant at 80 km/h and in Velim (Czech Republic) at up to 140 km/h, the maximum speed of the Coradia iLint. For the purpose of the tests, a mobile filling station has been erected in Salzgitter to pump gaseous hydrogen into the pressure tank of the Coradia iLint.
The hydrogen used for the test runs is the by-product of an industrial process, However, in the long term, Alstom says it aims to support hydrogen production from wind energy.
The vehicle has already successfully completed the static commissioning process. All electrical and pneumatic functions of the trains have been tested and verified at standstill. TÜV Süd has certified the safety of the battery, the pressure tank system and the fuel cell for the coming test phases.