IR plans to build a Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Battery powered 300kW Broad-gauge Locomotive

Indian Railways plans to build a hydrogen fuel cell and battery powered 300kW broad-gauge locomotive, and Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi has invited tenders by November 22 for components for the project.

The locomotive will have a proton-exchange-membrane-based (PEM) fuel cell power plant with a maximum of three air-cooled stack modules each rated at a minimum of 100kW. A fuel cell and battery system will provide transient power of 700kW, with a dc/dc boost/buck converter with transformer. The hydrogen storage system will consist of two modules each comprising carbon fibre/aluminium tanks.

The 21-tonne axleload locomotive will have a new underframe and superstructure, but will use some components from an Alco diesel locomotive including bogies, dc traction motors, air brakes, vigilance control device, event recorder, sanders, air dryers and horns.

The successful bidder will need to have a memorandum of understanding with an Indian partner to work on the project. Field trials on the IR network lasting at least three months will be conducted with the prototype locomotive.