Medha Servo Drives, a major rail system integrator, recently placed an order for fuel cell modules from Ballard Power Systems to power the country’s first hydrogen-powered trains with Indian Railways.
Two diesel-electric commuter trains will be upgraded with Ballard’s latest fuel cell technology, the FCmoveTM-HD+, which will be installed with eight separate 100 kW modules.
To get started on the route to realizing their net-zero aspirations, Indian Railways awarded the contract to provide the hydrogen-powered trains to Medha. Shipment of the fuel cell modules is anticipated in 2023, with trains entering operation in 2024; subsequent retrofits are possible.
Given that hydrogen is now cheaper than diesel, Indian Railways expect its investment in the hydrogen fuel cell project to yield a return in under two years. It is predicted that these conversions will not only save money over their diesel equivalent but will also cut carbon dioxide emissions by over 11 tons per year and eliminate over a metric ton of particulate matter.