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15 Mar 2024

Austrian’s HY2RAIL project will receive fuel cell technology from Accelera

Amy Power
Austrian’s HY2RAIL project will receive fuel cell technology from Accelera

Accelerea™ part of Cummins, has made a breakthrough and has created and commissioned its first locomotive that is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. This train has been commissioned to HY2RAIL and it will be used for freight rail applications.

HY2RAIL, the Austrian project previously had normal diesel generators operating on their rails. However, now these have been replaced by Accelera’s fuel cells and these will become the primary power unit to be used in the conversion project. This conversion project will focus on a light On Track Machine (OTM) vehicle.

The company m.ZERO used Accelera’s fuel cell power modules to power the train and they accomplished this through integrating the modules into the 120kW system. The company performed this task before ensuring that the installation of all balance-of-plant components and interfaces were installed properly. The next steps then included combining this fuel cell system with a battery system that resulted in the generation of a hybrid propulsion system which also involves power electronics, onboard hydrogen storage technology and finally, a vehicle control unit.

In order to make this possible, this project was developed through a partnership with ÖBB, the Austrian railway authority. This company commissioned their technical service arm, who is TrainTech, to oversee the railcar’s modernisation. This task led to the fuel cell electric system being able to be installed.

General Manager of Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies at Accelera, Alison Trueblood, spoke about ‘the implementation of fuel cell technology “reinforces our {Accelera’s] standing as a premier fuel cell provider in the European market, particularly in for the railway sector.”’

CEO of m.ZERO, Herbert Wancura, commented, “Modernising to zero-emission technology isn’t just feasible, it’s an economically and environmentally savvy choice. We made the right decision with our choice of fuel cells for the project as Accelera’s units are delivering exactly are specified.”

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