Project News

CAF Power & Automation has finished energy storage systems' type tests for the FCH2RAIL project

The FCH2RAIL Project was selected by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) of the European Commission which is engaged in driving the development of the hydrogen powered fuel cells and it is supported by European funds through the H2020 program. This aims to develop a bi-mode demonstrator train that will be powered from the overhead line when running in electrified sections, and from the Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Pack when running in the catenary-free sections. Within the scope of this project, CAF Power&Automation has developed and manufactured its own batteries module, which will be part of the Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Pack that will be installed in the demonstrator train, a CIVIA electric commuter train provided by Renfe and being now refurbished by CAF. This Onboard Energy Storage System has been successfully tested in CAF P&A´s power lab. During the testing period, performances and capacities of the system have been tested whether it can operate both as power generator in catenary-free running andas power storage in electrified sections.

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Toyota delivers 6 fuel cell modules for FCH2Rail project


The FCH2RAIL project, already launched in January 2021, is pioneering in the field of emission-free bi-mode trains, which combine normal track use and emission-free rail travel without overhead lines.  Toyota has built, tested and delivered 6 fuel cell modules for the next phase in the project. These modules include the latest Gen2 technology offering more power and higher density in a more compact package. It was decided to use the flat module configuration, allowing the most efficient integration in the demonstration train’s roof.

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CIVIA commuter train used as demonstrator handed over


In WP5 Demonstrator Integration, Testing and Homologation, the milestone Train Demonstrator Arrival in CAF, which was originally planned for end of January 2022, could already be achieved in November 2021. The picture shows the CIVIA train unit that will be used to demonstrate and homologate the FCHPP. The photo was taken after hand-over of the train from RENFE to CAF in the CAF factory in Zaragoza (Spain). The hand-over was accompanied by several tasks such as dynamic and static testing of the CIVIA unit.

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FCH2RAIL project achieves important steps on the way to bi-mode fuel cell hybrid train


Since the launch of the FCH2RAIL project in January 2021, important steps have been taken towards the bi-mode fuel cell hybrid train demonstrator.

In WP1 - Generic FC Train Requirement Specifications and Concept the relevant use cases for hybrid bi-mode vehicles have been analysed. As a result, the high-level requirements for the hydrogen train and its operation, covering the vehicle and the infrastructure, have been defined. Moreover, the hydrogen refuelling and storage requirements for rail vehicles have been gathered. The results have been published in the public deliverables D1.3 Report on generic requirements for bi-mode fuel cell hybrid trains and D1.5 – Hydrogen refuelling and storage requirements for rail vehicles. Both deliverables are public and available here.

WP2 - FC powered Train Demonstrator, Architecture and Concept focuses on the integration of the Fuel Cell Hybrid Powerpack (FCHPP) in the demonstrator train. It started with the generic requirements developed in WP1 and adapted them to the CIVIA train that is used as a demonstrator in the project. The demonstrator use cases and performance requirements have been identified and the feasibility of the FCHPP integration in the train demonstrator has been evaluated. The results of these tasks have been documented in the deliverable D2.1 - Requirements Specification for a Bi-mode FCH Multiple Unit.

In parallel, WP 3 – FC Hybrid Powerpack Development is advancing in the definition of the modular and scalable FCHPP. The project team started to carry out the technological development of the different critical subsystems of the FCHPP. Until today, WP3 has developed a scalable and modular architecture for the FCHPP and defined the interaction and interfaces between the main subsystems (fuel cells, hydrogen storage, energy storage and high voltage DC/DC converters) together with the main functions. Deliverable D3.1 - FCHPP architecture, interfaces and functions has been finalised and submitted to the EU Funding and Tenders Portal at end of June.

The aim of WP7 - Normative Framework is to develop the fundamental basis of a normative framework for the use of hydrogen technology in different kinds of railway applications across Europe. In order to generate the necessary momentum in the railway community, the so called WP7 network with external standardisation experts has been formed. In WP7 the important milestone MS7.1 – Critical interfaces with stakeholders has been achieved at end of September. This milestone depicts the critical interfaces between the hybrid fuel cell train and the stakeholders involved from construction to operation. It is shared with the experts in WP7 network and with the members of FCH2RAIL Advisory Board.

Last but not least the safety management for the project, located in WP9 – Project Management, created the deliverable D9.3 Safety Plan Draft by end of April. It describes the safety management for the complete FCH2Rail project and establishes the safety processes. These safety processes will assure that the train and hydrogen refuelling station developed in the project comply with the requirements defined in the European safety management framework. The safety plan was shared with the European Hydrogen Safety Panel (EHSP) and will be continuously updated during the project lifetime.



Toyota Motor Europe to supply fuel cell modules for train project as member of FCH2RAIL Consortium


Almost half of the railway lines in the European Union are electrified and enable local emission-free rail transport. On the remaining sections of the lines, diesel powered trains are used. Within the EU project FCH2RAIL (Fuel Cell Hybrid Power Pack for Rail Applications), a consortium with partners from Belgium, Germany, Spain and Portugal is developing and testing a new zero-emission train prototype. At the heart of the project there is a hybrid, bi-modal drive system that combines the electrical power supply from the overhead line with a “fuel cell hybrid power pack” (consisting of hydrogen fuel cells and batteries) that works independent of the overhead line.

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Hydrogen train prototype project secures EU funding


The European Commission’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) awarded a EUR 10 million grant to the FCH2RAIL consortium, technically led by CAF to design, develop and test a hydrogen fuel train prototype. The project would benefit European funding under the H2020 Programme. The project phases will cover both the design and manufacturing of an innovative prototype, in addition to all the tests required for validation and approval.

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