Pesa is approved for a hydrogen shunting locomotive

Pesa Bydgoszcz has obtained a certificate of admission to operate a hydrogen locomotive, the manufacturer announced. The approval process was of particular importance for both the manufacturer and the office, as such a procedure was carried out in Poland for the first time.

“I am glad that I was able to sign the release into operation for the first hydrogen-powered locomotive produced in Poland. This case was special, because both European and national regulations do not specify requirements for hydrogen drive in a railway vehicle. Therefore, it was a very interesting experience for UTK. I hope that the number of hydrogen-powered rail vehicles will increase, because thanks to this, the railway becomes more environmentally friendly,” said Ignacy Góra, President of the Railway Transport Office, quoted in the release.

Pesa started work on the implementation of hydrogen drives for rail vehicles in 2019. It was then decided that the first step would be the SM42-6Dn shunting locomotive, which after modernization and hydrogen drive has exactly the same traction parameters as the diesel locomotive it is to replace, but with one exception – it is completely emission-free and environmentally friendly. The received certificate will enable the locomotive to work in ports, on sidings and in local traffic on the railway network.

“I would like to emphasize that for both Pesa and UTK, the process of allowing this innovative locomotive to operate was a journey into the unknown. I would like to thank President Ignacy Góra and the entire UTK team for substantive cooperation and I assure you that there will be further similar approval applications, because we are already working on a passenger vehicle powered by electric traction and hydrogen cells, added Krzysztof Zdziarski, President of Pesy.

The four-axle locomotive has been equipped with an innovative power source, which is a zero-emission hydrogen drive. Two hydrogen cells with a total capacity of 170 kW are responsible for generating energy. Through the traction battery, they power four asynchronous traction motors with a power of 4x180kW, which allows for a speed of up to 90 km/h. Hydrogen is taken from tanks with a total capacity of 175 kg. One refueling allows for 24-hour shunting of the locomotive.

The locomotive has also been equipped with an autonomous driving system that allows the driver to control the vehicle by radio one-handed while setting up trains, and an obstacle recognition system (anti-collision).

The concept and design are the work of Pesa constructors, and the company from Bydgoszcz cooperated with many recognized domestic and foreign technological partners in its implementation. Among them were companies such as ABB, Ballard, Worthington, Luccini, Rawag, TSA and CADD, listed.

The company intends to offer carriers not only vehicles, but also refueling and hydrogen supply infrastructure. Hence, among others, cooperation with PKN Orlen or the establishment of a team that conducts talks with the Marshal Offices about the concept of building hydrogen eco-systems, including renewable energy sources, electrolyzers, hydrogen storage and refueling stations, which could be used not only by rail vehicles, but also by the entire transport public, it was also reminded.

Pesa Bydgoszcz is a Polish manufacturer of rail vehicles, it also deals with modernization, repairs and inspections of rolling stock.

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