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World's First Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Powered Train to be Tested

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posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 04:08 PM
East Japan Railways is nearing the completion of a prototype train that would be powered by Hydrogen Fuel-Cells.

On April 4, the East Japan Railway Company reported progress in the development of the world’s first fuel cell-powered train. With the prototype nearing completion, the company announced plans to begin trial runs in order to collect data before putting the train into commercial service.

According to officials, the test train consists of one car and is powered by two 65kW fuel cells that enable speeds of up to 100 kph (60 mph). The train is an upgraded version of JR’s New Energy (NE) train — an experimental diesel-electric hybrid developed in 2003 — whose diesel generator has been replaced with fuel cells. The new fuel cell-powered NE train is scheduled to begin service in the summer of 2007 on the rural, non-electrified Koumi Line in Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures.

Hydrogen stored in a tank aboard the train is supplied to the fuel cells, where it reacts with oxygen to produce electricity. Unused electricity and electricity generated during braking is stored in a secondary battery, which is used as an auxiliary power source. In addition to being energy-efficient, hydrogen fuel cells emit no carbon dioxide (a contributor to global warming), only water.

I found this very interesting, and truthfully it is an unexpected development.

I'm very pleased that Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology is being developed for more than one transportation system.

Comments, Opinions?

[edit on 4/7/2006 by iori_komei]

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 10:51 PM
Its nice that they're trying to develop this technology, but my only question is where the Hydrogen that fuels this thing is coming from. As far as I know the only way for us to get abundant Hydrogen is to manufacture it through electrical processes.

According to the U.S. government, 70 percent of our electrical energy comes from fossil fuels, and this statistic doesn't seem to take into account automobiles. So although it might be a slight improvement in that the hydrogen will only be 70% derived from fossil fuels, I'm still not optimistic on it solving the problem.

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 11:23 PM
Well it's a simple matter of electrolesis (I think that's what it's called), you just put in water and the electricity sperates the oxygen and hydrogen.

When it comes to refueling stations, you could installa solar power generator for the process.

Anyways, even if we still od use fossil fuels to make the fuel, if we convert vehicles to hydrogen there will be a significant less amount of pollution being pumped into the atmosphere.

posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 12:06 AM
Here's a link to a website with all the links to hydrogen related fuels:

It seems that at the moment the best way to get hydrogen is from clean coal technologies. You'll get power from burning coals plus hydrogen and CO2. You can use the hydrogen for fuel cells and you can further use the CO2 in conjunction with algae-based biofuel systems.

All this until a cheaper way to do electrolysis is discovered.

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