Alstom and Hynamics, the hydrogen subsidiary of the EDF Group, signed a partnership agreement to optimise the hydrogen refuelling of passenger trains. This collaboration will accelerate the development of hydrogen trains and reduce the time needed to refuel them.
“This partnership will enable us to optimise the hydrogen distribution infrastructure and the rolling stock made available to operators. This is a project that presents many opportunities for the decarbonisation of transportation and the development of sustainable mobility”, the two groups emphasise.
The two companies are already carrying out joint modelling, calculation, and simulation work, which mobilises the skills and resources of “EDF Lab”. The work will then be tested from 2022 on the electrolyser test platform at the ‘EDF Lab Les Renardières’, one of three R&D centres of Électricité de France located in Écuelles (Seine-et-Marne).
A hydrogen production station, a compressor up to 450 bars and several storage racks will be mobilised to recreate the filling circuits at real size and to evaluate the behaviour of the equipment under optimal observation conditions.
Ultimately, the aim is to define an international refuelling standard that will make it possible to limit the immobilisation of hydrogen-powered trains during refuelling, which is a major issue for both railway companies and passengers, while complying with the regulations and safety rules in force.
In September, Alstom signed with Plastic Omnium a memorandum of understanding to develop high-end hydrogen storage systems dedicated to the rail sector.
For hydrogen refuelling, Alstom has launched the construction of two stations in Germany. The works for the first hydrogen filling station was launched in Bremervoerde, in July 2020 and the construction begun for Hesse hydrogen station in October 2020.
Both stations are expected to become operational by the end of 2022 when they will replace the existing mobile filling solution currently used for Coradia iLint trains.