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Alstom unveils Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell powered regional train in Germany

European train builder Alstom has just unveiled its first zero-emissions train. The Coradia iLint regional train replaces the diesel power plant with hydrogen fuel cells, while offering the same level of performance.

Alstom is one of the first railway manufacturers in the world to develop a passenger train based on hydrogen fuel cell technology. To make the deployment of the Coradia iLint regional train as simple as possible for train operators, Alstom offers a complete package, consisting of the train and maintenance, as well as the necessary hydrogen infrastructure, with its network of partners.

The first train is expected to enter service on the Buxtehude–Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven line in Lower Saxony starting in December 2017.

The new fuel cell powered Coradia iLint, based on Alstom’s Coradia Lint 54 diesel train, will be manufactured in Salzgitter, Germany. The Coradia iLint trains will have a performance comparable to the latest generation of Coradia Lint diesel multiple units, i.e. a maximum speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) with similar acceleration and braking performance, and a comparable passenger capacity.

During acceleration phases the fuel cell power output will be mainly used to supply traction power demand from the traction inverter and the onboard systems power demand via the auxiliary converter. During these phases power from the lithium-ion battery will be used to boost acceleration.

The level of fuel cell power depends on the amplitude and duration of high power demand; short acceleration phases with limited power demand will be mainly supplied by the battery. Only longer phases of high power demand will lead to full-power operation of the fuel cell.

During phases of lower acceleration or coasting, part of the fuel cell power will be used to recharge the battery, next to its power supply to the onboard systems, via the auxiliary converter. If the battery is sufficiently charged, the fuel cell is powered down to only supply the onboard systems and auxiliary converter, reducing hydrogen consumption.

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Energy storage including Fuel cells