CP rail developing hydrogen locomotive

Discussion in 'Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles' started by R P, Dec 18, 2020.

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  1. https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2020/12/18-canadian-pacific-announces-plan-to-develop-hydrogen-powered-road-locomotive
    More getting into this... Makes a lot of sense for trains given the drive train itself is already electric even with the current diesel engines. And given the high energy density of stored hydrogen (130 X better than batteries), the fuel cells can be easily transported. Plus vast quantities of hydrogen can be stored at select locations and moved where needed, all without the environmental damage that happens with battery production.

    Canada is also increasing its investment and support for hydrogen production and infrastructure.
    insightman likes this.
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  3. gooki

    gooki Well-Known Member

    FWIW once you add the weight to store the hydrogen, the energy density compared to batteries is a wash.

    Try and store hydrogen on the cheap (steel cylinders), and the energy density is worse than lithium ion batteries.
  4. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

    That sounds like BS. Doesn't make sense. Provide a source
  5. gooki

    gooki Well-Known Member

    Are the Royal Society of Chemistry and Stanford University good enough sources?


    To convert that to kwh we will use.


    33.6 x 0.72 = 24.192 kwh.

    However to convert hydrogen to electricity we have to run it through a fuel cell which is 40 - 60% efficient. We'll go with 60% efficient for best case scenario.

    24.192 x 0.60 = 14.5 kwh.

    Now let's calculate the energy density
    14.5 kwh / 58.72 kg = 247 Wh/kg

    Lithium ion phosphate battery energy density 160 Wh/kg.

    Panasonic NMC 2170 cells made for Tesla are 266 Wh/kg.

    Next argument please.
  6. gooki

    gooki Well-Known Member

    To make hydrogen work for passenger cars Toyota and Hyundai have to use significantly more expensive materials than steel to make their hydrogen cylinders. Yet they're seeing no weight advantage vs diesel or electric vehicles.

    Hyundai Nexo weight 1,873 kg
    Toyota Mirai Gen 1 weight 1,850 kg
    Toyota Mirai Gen 2 weight 1,950 kg
    Tesla Model 3 long range weight 1,730 kg
    Tesla Model Y long range AWD weight 2,003 kg

    At the semi truck level, again we see no weight advantage for Hydrogen. Hyundai's XCIENT Semi weighs 9,975 kg and delivers just 250 miles of range.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
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  8. Your "facts" seem to be very different than those that are putting money into hydrogen development and design of hydrogen large transport vehicles. I guess you think you are smarter than they are...
  9. gooki

    gooki Well-Known Member

    I don't think, I know. Maths doesn't lie.
  10. But people do, and their source of "facts". It's all about credibility. I trust firms and engineers that put their money where their mouths are. Academics and their changing and conflicting studies don't carry much weight with me.
  11. gooki

    gooki Well-Known Member

    Thankfully time will bring all the answers we seek.
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  13. It's happening. Two CP hydrogen locomotives are already in service in Canada.

    And CSX in the US is getting ready to deploy their first hydrogen locomotive.
  14. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

  15. Interesting and will have to wait and see. It does make some sense though. Locomotive motors are electric already and are driven by diesel engine generators, which can be converted/retrofitted to hydrogen or natural gas. And with rail lines, infrastructure can be built by the railroads wherever needed. You could convert to batteries, but that conversion and infrastructure would be a lot more expensive and would likely take many more years or even decades to develop and prove out.
  16. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

    I agree. At a certain scale, current battery tech will not pan out for certain transportation applications. I do not see how commercial jets or those large container ships that travel long distances would be powered by batteries any time soon, so it doesn't make sense to pursue only batteries as the means for these applications. Although that would happen if certain people in comment sections had their way. lol

    Take those large container ships. I do not see how every port on earth that receives them could handle the infrastructure necessary for the batteries powering these ships. Several ports in 3rd world nations do not have stable electricity and extremely busy ports could have to essentially add 10s of GWs of near constant power load on the grid to supply the necessary power for all the ships. I am only guessing, but each battery would need to be about 320 MWh per day in size based on some metric I saw, which was 225 tons of bunker oil per day driving at 24 knots and assuming it would only take half the energy for an electric motor to move the ship. Even if you assume it would only take 10% of that energy its still 70 MWh per day. Its a crazy amount of energy necessary for each ship.

    I do not see why these large container ships haven't been powered by nuclear energy. It would be the perfect application. They could go for years without fueling and only a handful of ports would need to have the capacity to fuel them. Nuclear has been proven for a similar application for decades now. The only thing holding it back for this application is left wing environmentalists.
    R P likes this.
  17. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    Show how powering with nuclear power is cost effective? Show me the money!!!

    Who is going to provide security from pirates and groups firing missiles?
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2024
  18. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    You might be interested to read the January IEEE Spectrum article, The Case for Nuclear Cargo Ships.
  19. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

    i've read articles like this before. The biggest reason why it doesn't happen is irrational fear of nuclear energy. Yes there will be a cost, but its pretty much the only way you will decarbonize these large container ships.

    There are no meaningful non-carbon alternatives for container ships. Much of the cost with nuclear are due to unnecessary regulations and the cost of the loans due to project delays that are related to regulation changes too.
  20. SouthernDude

    SouthernDude Active Member

  21. There is still the issue with the grid not being able to support large transport vehicle charging infrastructure. Hydrogen would take the pressure off of that.
    insightman likes this.

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