Rail transportation by hydrogen vs. electrification - Case study for Ontario, Canada, II: Energy supply and distribution

  • Marin G
  • Naterer G
  • Gabriel K
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Locomotives offer an efficient mode of transportation when compared to buses, personal vehicles or airplanes for mass transportation over frequent intercity distances. For example, a Bombardier Regina EMU train with 272 seats and a load factor of 53% will consume under 0.07 kWh/passenger-km, which is typically much lower than corresponding values for other transportation modes in similar circumstances. European countries have invested significantly over the years in train electrification. Environmentally friendly methods of transferring power to the wheels are direct electrification and hydrogen fuel cells. Various methods to produce hydrogen for utilization with fuel cell train operation are examined in this paper. This companion paper of a 2-paper set examines the overall impact of energy supply (hydrogen vs. electricity) and distribution on rail transportation, specifically in terms of costs and overall GHG emissions for a case study of GO transit along the Lakeshore corridor in Toronto. Although electrification of train services simplifies some aspects of the operation, when considered over the Lakeshore corridor alone, electrified trains lose their flexibility to serve cities outside the Lakeshore corridor. Hydrogen fuelled trains can provide a smoother transition and interoperability by operating the same routes and stations served by diesel trains today, without being limited to the Lakeshore corridor. This paper evaluates technological, operational and economic aspects of the electrification of the Lakeshore corridor, versus hydrogen train operation, including infrastructure requirements to provide service to a substantial ridership increase projected for the years 2015-2031. Various methods of hydrogen production and distribution are presented and analysed, in order to evaluate the overall life cycle of GHG emissions and costs for various train alternatives. © 2010 Professor T. Nejat Veziroglu. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Copper-chlorine cycle
  • Electrolysis
  • Hydrogen train
  • Thermochemical hydrogen production

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  • G. D. Marin

  • G. F. Naterer

  • K. Gabriel

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