China-developed hydrogen-fueled hybrid locomotive rolls off assembly line

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The first China-developed hydrogen fuel cell hybrid locomotive, designed by CRRC Datong Co., Ltd, rolled off the production line on Jan. 27, marking a key breakthrough in China's hydrogen energy utilization technology and railway locomotive equipment.

According to Zhao Mingyuan, deputy general manager and chief engineer of CRRC Datong, the locomotive is designed to travel at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour, with 700 kilowatts of continuous power for 24.5 hours. Its maximum traction load on a straight track exceeds 5,000 tonnes.

Zhao explained that hydrogen fuel cell hybrid power is environmentally friendly, energy-saving, and highly efficient. 

"Test run data shows that the energy conversion efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells is significantly higher than that of traditional internal combustion engine units," Zhao said. "By formulating a reasonable energy management strategy, the locomotive can achieve the optimal energy output." 

Zhai Wanming, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and professor of Southwest Jiaotong University, said that this method of creating energy without combustion is safe and reliable. 

"Hydrogen-fueled hybrid locomotives produce less noise and are cheaper and easier to maintain. Moreover, water is the only emission, so the locomotives realize zero carbon and pollutants emissions," Zhai said.

"In the field of transportation, harnessing hydrogen fuel has become an important direction for industry development," Zhao said, adding that hydrogen fuel has so far been successfully applied in technologies relating to aerospace, automobiles, urban trams, and other fields in China.

Content created in partnership with Science and Technology Daily.

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