Hyderabad, India (Urban Transport News): Canadian firm Ballard Power Systems announced that the company has secured an order for the supply of fuel cell modules from Medha Servo Drives, a leading rail system integrator, that has been developing India’s first hydrogen-powered trains for the Indin Railways.
The two retrofitted diesel-electric commuter trains will integrate 8 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 fewer than two years as the cost of hydrogen is now less than diesel. These conversions are not only expected to be more economic than their diesel counterpart but also reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by over 11 metric tons and eliminate nearly a metric ton of particulate matter per year.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Ballard in the development of India’s first hydrogen powered trains. 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. With leading technology and strong project economics, we are optimistic about the future of zero-emission rail transport,” said Kasyap Reddy, Managing Director of Medha Servo Drives.
“Our progress in decarbonizing the rail market is just beginning, as we work with leading rolling stock manufacturers, integrators and operators globally. This announcement with Medha exemplifies the growing need and progress being made to decarbonize global mobility. We are excited to grow our fuel cell business in India, and to power, the first hydrogen-powered, zero emission passenger trains in the Indian market,” said David Mucciacciaro, Ballard Chief Commercial Officer.
Ballard Power Systems’ vision is to deliver fuel cell power for a sustainable planet. Ballard zero-emission PEM fuel cells are enabling electrification of mobility, including buses, commercial trucks, trains, marine vessels, and stationary power.
Medha Servo Private Limited is an R&D-focused company dedicated to the design, development, manufacture, supply, and service of Railway products. It has been established in 1984 and has been supplying various products to Indian Railways since 1990. Medha has designed and manufactured various world-class high-tech electronics products for application on locomotives, trainsets, coaches, railway stations, and yards. Medha’s strength lies in designing, customizing, and integrating systems that involve multiple functional domains such as control electronics, power electronics, fail safety, and mechanical construction.