Ballard Power Systems today announced a fuel cell module order from Medha Servo Drives, a leading rail system integrator, that has been contracted by Indian Railways to develop India’s first hydrogen-powered trains.
The two retrofitted diesel-electric commuter trains will integrate eight units of 100 kW FCmoveTM-HD+, Ballard’s latest fuel cell technology, which offers improved efficiency and power density than previous module generations.
The contract to provide the hydrogen-powered trains was awarded to Medha as the first step in Indian Railways’ path to achieve their net zero ambitions. The fuel cell modules are expected to be shipped in 2023, with trains scheduled to go into service in 2024, with the potential for additional retrofits following the initial deployment.
Indian Railways estimate their investment in the hydrogen fuel cell project to have a payback of less than two years as the cost of hydrogen is now less than diesel. These conversions are expected to be more economical than their diesel counterpart and reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by over 11 metric tons and eliminate nearly a metric ton of particulate matter per year.
Mr Kasyap Reddy, Managing Director of Medha Servo Drives, said, “Rail transportation is a critical piece of infrastructure across India, and we are proud to be taking the first steps to decarbonize this facet of our economy.”
David Mucciacciaro, Ballard CCO, said, “Our progress in decarbonizing the rail market is just beginning, as we work with leading rolling stock manufacturers, integrators and operators globally.”