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As part of a new rail revolution to provide the energy of the future for environmentally sustainable public transport around the nation, SCOTLAND is moving toward hydrogen-powered trains.
In the UK, the first trains powered by the new fuel are currently being tested and made. According to industry expert Mark Griffin, who is in charge of hydrogen at BOC, the refueling system currently being built in Glasgow will be capable of powering large public transit projects such as trains and buses.
The plans also include a drive to push for the development of a new sustainable energy plant at Whitelee Wind in South Lanarkshire by ScottishPower’s renewable energy division, which has teamed up with BOC and ITM Power under the banner “Green Hydrogen for Scotland”.
To produce hydrogen from water, the initial proposal is for a 10-megawatt electrolyzer.
Scotland is testing the world’s first hydrogen-powered Orkney Islands ferry.
Warwickshire tested the first hydrogen-powered train to operate on the U.K.’s main line earlier this month.
The trains are being manufactured as part of the Breeze hydrogen programme south of the border. Eversholt Rail and Alstom are both working to drive the hydrogen train industry in the UK, which is behind the Coradia iLint. After a further £ 1 million investment in British hydrogen trains, a new train class, the 600 Series, has been developed.
By 2023, it says, the revolutionary technology behind the trains will also be available to retrofit existing trains in service.
The progress made in Europe by Linde, which owns BOC, has also been followed by Eyes.
As a business, we’ve heard from our German colleagues at Linde what they did with the first train deployment in Germany,” Mr. Griffin said, “and we’ve begun to model what that would look like.
“So we have a model of what the refueling infrastructure will look like.”
Biggest zero-emission hydrogen flight test in Scotland in the world
“He said, “There was a very exciting growth. I understand that Alstom and Eversholt have really invested more in the production of the Breeze train, as well as the latest innovations in the HydroFlex solution.
“I think just two, two and a half years ago people thought trains and planes wouldn’t be possible, and Alstom and ZeroAvia are changing people’s minds. If we take Glasgow for example, a 20-megawatt electrolyzer that can produce eight tons a day is perfect to meet the huge demand that a train fleet would bring.”
The project comes at a time when Scotland, including the first hydrogen-powered ferries in the world to be tested in Orkney, is planning for further hydrogen firsts.
Last week, Aberdeen City Council took delivery of the first hydrogen-powered double-decker bus in the country, run by First Group via the Kittybrewster BOC fuel depot.
The buses from Glasgow go green via the latest clean hydrogen project
Glasgow, which is set to launch the world’s largest hydrogen-powered refuse truck fleet, is also a leader in the area, Mr. Griffin said. As part of the scheme, the UK Hydrogen for Transport program is providing £ 6.3 million for a refueling station and 19 Glasgow hydrogen-powered refuse trucks.
Hydrogen can also be used for an aircraft’s first commercial trial. ZeroAvia, based in California, is poised to travel some 300 miles from Orkney to the Scottish mainland to prove the durability of the aircraft. The team has just conducted the world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft test at Bedfordshire’s Cranfield Airport.
“It’s hard to put into words what this means to our team, but also to anyone interested in zero-emission flying,” said Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia managing director and test pilot.
“While some experimental aircraft have flown using hydrogen fuel cells as a power source, the scale of this commercially available aircraft shows that paying passengers could be aboard a truly zero-emission flight very soon.”
TOMORROW: The infrastructure needed to push the hydrogen revolution in Scotland.