Class 799 hydrogen flex trains...

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Metal_gee_man, 20 Jun 2019.

  1. Metal_gee_man

    Metal_gee_man Member

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    I love the fact that the BBC thinks they've got an exclusive story!
    It looks like it's being demoed at Rail Live...

    BBC News - All aboard Britain’s first hydrogen train https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48698532

     
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  3. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Just watching an piece on BBC News right now. It is moving, which is good news. The bad news is that the fuel, generation units and batteries are inside the unit rather than underneath. That will be the real challenge and when they can move the kit under the floors might the 799 project move forward. However like other concept trains being tested with older vehicles, I suspect that any lessons learnt from these kinds of tests will ultimately be best purposed in new units, built specifically to accommodate the fuel and conversion requirements.
     
  4. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

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    Hmm. Well we managed with the power above the sole bar in the 20x DMUs so is that a deal breaker? Would the 769s be in service if we'd sacrificed a few seats to make room for the diesels? I assume it is an easier engineering proposition. Either way the hydrogen seems to work.
     
  5. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Well at the moment the power units are mid-train as far as I can tell, so they would at least need to be moved to an end car. However, and this is key, these types of trains may well end up on branches with short platforms, so unit length will be key as will getting as much kit under the unit as possible. Germany seems to have been able to get the fuel cells away from the carriages so we should be able to.
     
  6. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    This is unashamedly experimental and the quoted text notes the need to get the equipment out of the passenger areas in any production version. The 769 was intended to be a production design from the start so there was no point producing a prototype with the diesel above floor level. I doubt the delays to service of the 769 have much to do with where they put the engine.
     
  7. whhistle

    whhistle On Moderation

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    My mistake from another thread.

    I thought the Government wanted no more diesels ordered after 2040.

    Shame they don't say no more diesel cars on the roads from 2040 too!
     
  8. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Similar but different announcements for road and rail at this point last year (before JoJo resigned) that are causing confusion. In both cases fossil only by 2040, bimode/ hybrid solutions being allowed post 2040.
     
  9. mallard

    mallard Established Member

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    It's worth noting that the new East Midlands' franchise agreement includes a commitment to trial Hydrogen-powered trains, which (I believe) is the only confirmed passenger use so far. Whether that'll be a 799, a "Breeze" or some new-build design is yet to be confirmed of course.
     
  10. geoffk

    geoffk Member

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    Hudrogen-powered trains are being promoted for their "green" credentials, yet 95% of hydrogen is produced either from wood or fossil fuels, such as natural gas and oil. An alternative method is electrolysis, i.e. splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen by using an electric current. I'm not a scientist and someone else may want to expand on this.
     
  11. robk23oxf

    robk23oxf Member

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    The production and storage of hydrogen are two main issues that need to be addressed. I've driven a hydrogen car though and it was excellent, generating power on-board is still superior to current battery technology.
     
  12. DelW

    DelW Member

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    Greater Anglia's new FLIRT 3 and 4 car trains have power units above floor level in the form of the short mid-train power module, so presumably a similar solution could be used if it proves too problematic to fit all the kit below floor level?
     
  13. notlob.divad

    notlob.divad Established Member

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    Correct, but to some extent hydrogen is a byproduct of those chemical processes that is currently often burnt off. Whilst I agree that in an 'ideal' world we wouldn't make any of these chemicals from carbon emitting sources, that is unrealistic and so making use of the byproducts rather than just burning them off would be a step improvement.
     
  14. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    I’ve just been on the demonstrator, very smooth. Far better ride quality than the 230 on the Marston Vale
     
  15. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

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    Does anyone on here know how the hydrogen is stored? Compressed in cylinders? Liquid (thinking Saturn V here), metal hydride tanks? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_storage

    The problem with all this "clean" technology is that it is all predicated on a lot of electricity (electrolysis in this case) and we are actually not that well off for generating capacity. Huge changes such as we don't envisage are needed.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jun 2019
  16. Cheshire Rover

    Cheshire Rover Member

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    The process I recall was the Castner cell which used the electrolysis of brine to produce chlorine with a lot of hydrogen as a by product. Very energy intensive though. I don’t think there is an easy way to produce hydrogen.
     
  17. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    I don't recall chlorine being mentioned, and it's a pretty unpleasant side effect if so, so I think some other method of electrolysis must be used. I got the impression it's perfectly possible but a lot more expensive than hydrogen produced from fossil fuels. In principle hydrogen is a means of storing energy, which is important as we move towards renewwable source that are often intermittent, but it doesn't seem to be talked about much so perhaps other means such as batteries are more cost-effective.
     
  18. broadgage

    broadgage Member

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    Hydrogen CAN be produced from wood, by firstly fermenting wood pulp to produce methanol, and then producing hydrogen from methanol. This is a complex and not very efficient process and is not carried out on a significant scale.
    Also rather pointless, it would be easier to burn the methanol for power rather than convert it into hydrogen. Methanol is liquid and fairly easy to handle.
    Most hydrogen is produced from natural gas, this is a simple and well understood process, but rather pointless as the natural gas could be used directly to power a train or other vehicle.
    Hydrogen may also be produced by electrolysis of water, a well understood process that needs a lot of electricity. It would in most cases make more sense to apply the electricity to powering trains, via OHLE or by battery trains, rather than converting to hydrogen.
    Hydrogen produced by electrolysis will be at least twice as expensive as the electricity used, due to losses.

    Hydrogen can also be produced from coal, the old towns gas that was used for lighting, cooking, and heating was largely hydrogen. It was used for filling gas balloons due to ready availability and low cost if compared to pure hydrogen.
     
  19. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    I think the point being made was that some of the current UK hydrogen "surplus" comes from chlorine production rather than it being a first choice for additional production. (Some comes from refineries and fertiliser production).

    The only easy energy efficient and clean way to produce Hydrogen is the pseudo catalytic Sulphur-Iodine process using (waste) heat at 830C from a helium cooled fission reactor.

    Hence there is slight R&D gap to address first.
     
  20. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Is rail live open to normals?
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That's interesting given that the bogies are original and I don't think they've been changed much. Track quality?
     
  22. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Hydrogen from electrolysis is 23 to 28% efficient overall which is less than a third of the OHLE total efficiency.
     
  23. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    A low speed and short distance journey
     
  24. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    That's what I was thinking. If you ride the Class 799 in it's current state then you are getting the ride of a Class 319?
     
  25. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Our 318s/320s ride pretty well on the same Series 3 bogies, even at 90mph they are quite smooth and far superior to what replaced them.
     
  26. Nobby15

    Nobby15 Member

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    Hope that unit shown was on the test track and not running on the sidings at Quinton , as it was displaying the wrong front illumination
     
  27. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I'm very glad to hear that, makes it more worthwhile having them in revenue service - the passengers will actually get a comfy ride! :lol:
     
  28. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    Hydrogen can also be produced by algae, which has the benefit of using the sun as the power source. I have no idea whether the method is yet ready for commercial application, though.
     
  29. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    No, it’s trade only.
     
  30. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    No, industry only.
     
  31. gingertom

    gingertom Member

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    the food industry uses hydrogen for converting and modifying fats- can we learn anything from them?
     

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