Ballard Power Systems announced a fuel cell module order from Medha Servo Drives, a leading rail system integrator, which has been contracted by Indian Railways to develop India’s first hydrogen powered trains. Indian Railways is a statutory body under the ownership of Ministry of Railways, Government of India that operates India’s national railway system.
Two retrofitted diesel-electric commuter trains will integrate 8 units of 100 kW FCmove-HD+, Ballard’s latest fuel cell technology, based on the FCgen-LCS stack, which offers improved efficiency and power density than previous module generations.
The contract to provide the hydrogen-powered trains was awarded to Medha as a 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 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 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 particulate matter per year.