Spanish companies are working on a hydrogen propulsion system for high speed




Spanish companies are working on a hydrogen propulsion system for high speed.


A dozen Spanish companies , including Talgo from Alava, have joined forces to design and build a propulsion system based on renewable hydrogen cells , with the aim of installing it for the first time in the world in a high-speed train .


Grouped in the “ Hympulso” project , the entities will design a set of technologies applicable to the Talgo 250 train, which seek to electrify the railway network with energy generated entirely from renewable sources , even on those lines that do not have catenary.


The project is led by Talgo, andGolendus , Ingeteam , Optimus3D , Repsol and Sener are part of it . The Universidad Pontificia Comillas and Tecnalia collaborate , while Adif will be an observer.


The hydrogen value chain


“Hympulso” will have a comprehensive nature, as it will activate the entire renewable hydrogen value chain, from generation to consumption, in the railway system. It will also allow us to analyze the impact that the energy transition will have on the different assets of the railway infrastructure managed by Adif.


Thanks to initiative this, hydrogen feeding facilities adapted to the railway and a pioneering prototype of a hybrid bimodal train for passengers, with a change of gauge, will be jointly obtained, which will be able to circulate interchangeably on conventional and high-speed networks. It will use catenary power when available and hydrogen and batteries in those corridors without electrification .


Talgo will be in charge of developing, manufacturing, and testing the dual-hybrid traction of hydrogen batteries on a branch of the Talgo 250 Train, intended for long-distance operations on mixed sections.


These trains have two technical extreme cars each, currently used to generate the electricity that feeds the tractor heads, which currently use diesel on the sections without catenary.


With the “Hympulso ” project, the replacement of a Talgo 250 unit in a technical car will be planned for another equipped with fuel cells and batteries, which will be responsible for supplying electricity to the locomotives from 100% renewable hydrogen.


Ingeteam, for its part, will design, manufacture and test reversible high-power converters, capable of charging the batteries from the catenary. Repsol and Golendus will be responsible for developing two hydrogen refueling facilities and Sener will carry out a global risk analysis and a simulation of the operation of the services.


Finally, the Alava SME Optimus3D will work on new materials and processes to be used in hydrogen applications, more efficient and durable based on additive manufacturing.


As for the observing companies, Adif will develop the security requirements associated with the infrastructure and the interfaces with the vehicle and refueling facility, as well as the standardized recharging facilities, and will collaborate with the use cases on the hydrogen feeding platform.


“Hympulso”, which received a subsidy of 6.5 million, is part of the call for “Value chain: design, demonstration and validation of mobility powered by hydrogen”, which is part of the Perte for renewable energies, renewable hydrogen and storage. 



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