Fuel cell locomotive trial

Industrial (including Mining) motive power and operations in Southern Africa
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John Ashworth
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Fuel cell locomotive trial

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Fuel cell locomotive trial

Railway Gazette 18 April 2012

SOUTH AFRICA: Five fuel cell locomotives are under construction as demonstrators for use underground at Anglo American Platinum Ltd's Dishaba mine.

Lead contractor Vehicle Projects Inc is undertaking engineering design, fabrication and testing of the fuel cell power plant in the USA. Completed units will be delivered to Trident South Africa for installation on 10 tonne New Era mine locomotives, with integration and testing to be supported by local firm Battery Electric.

The locomotives will feature a hybrid fuel cell powerpack with proton-exchange membrane stacks and lithium-ion batteries. Continuous net power rating of the fuel cell is 17 kW and, acting in combination with the traction battery, the maximum net power is 45 kW for approximately 10 min, the company says. The complete traction module, comprising fuel cells, batteries, hydride storage, colling systems and power electronics occupies a space of 1 m3. Each locomotive will have 0·3 m3 of reversible metal-hydride storage, which will provide 'dense and safe storage' for 3·5 kg of hydrogen, enough to produce 50 kWh.

In 2009 Vehicle Projects and BNSF produced a fuel cell-powered shunting locomotive for testing in the USA (RG 2.09 p36), and in 2002 the company developed what it says was the first fuel cell mining locomotive for Placer Dome in Canada.
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Re: Fuel cell locomotive trial

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FUEL CELL LOCOS BUILT IN SOUTH AFRICA

On July 31, 2012 Railways Africa

With environmental considerations primarily in mind, the first of five fuel cell locomotives under construction for underground use in South Africa has entered test service. It is currently undergoing surface evaluation at Anglo American Platinum Ltd’s Khomanani mine in Rustenburg. Lead contractor Vehicle Projects Inc is undertaking engineering design, manufacture and testing of the fuel cell power plant in the USA. Completed units are being delivered to Trident South Africa for installation initially on 10 tonne mine locomotives, with integration and testing supported by Battery Electric, a local concern. The South African platinum industry currently operates about 4,000 locomotives,

The units feature a hybrid fuel cell power-pack with proton-exchange membrane stacks and lithium-ion batteries. Continuous net power rating of the fuel cell is 17kW. Functioning in combination with the traction battery, maximum net power of 45kW os developed for approximately 10 minutes. The complete traction module, comprising fuel cells, batteries, hydride storage, colling systems and power electronics occupies a space of 1 m3. The locomotives have 0.3m3 of reversible metal-hydride storage. According to the manufacturers, this provides “dense and safe storage” for 3.5kg of hydrogen, sufficient to produce 50kWh.

A fuel cell-powered shunting locomotive developed by Vehicle Projects Inc in conjunction with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) has been under test in the USA since 2009, and has supplied a fuel cell loco specifically aimed at the mining industry to Placer Dome for test purposes in Canada.
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