Cummins-powered hydrogen fuel cell trains heading further down the track in Austria

Cummins-powered hydrogen fuel cell trains heading further down the track in Austria

Hydrogen fuel cells are recognized as a technology necessary for a carbon-neutral future. Cummins fuel cells and hydrogen technologies have already powered applications ranging from grocery trucks to the first PEM electrolyzer in the United States, and now innovation continues in passenger rail in Austria.  

French railway manufacturer Alstom is among the first railway manufacturers in the world to develop hydrogen fuel cell-powered passenger trains. Alstom has already introduced the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell passenger train, called the Coradia iLint, in Germany, and Cummins supplied the fuel cells. In service since September 2018, the two hydrogen fuel cell trains have been successfully used in commercial service in Germany and following this successful test operation, now Alstom’s Coradia iLint train, powered by Cummins’ fuel cells, will run in Austria for the first time in regular passenger rail service for ÖBB, the Austrian Federal Railways.  

passenger rail in Austria

The train uses on-board fuel cells, to convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, emitting only steam and water and reducing operating emissions to zero. Reaching up to 140 kilometers per hour (86 miles per hour), the train was specifically designed for use in non-electrified lines. Transporting passengers across geographically challenging routes, the fuel cell train will run in Austria over a three-month demonstration period. Maintaining high levels of performance, many new innovations have been incorporated into the train, including clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage in batteries and intelligent management of motive power and available energy.  

Austria TrainIn 2015, Hydrogenics—now part of Cummins—was selected as a key partner by Alstom to develop and implement hydrogen fuel cell systems for Alstom’s iLint. With a range of up to 1000 kilometers per each hydrogen tank fueling, the fuel cell train matches the miles per fueling performance of conventional regional trains. The first serial production of 14 iLints will start operating in 2021 in Lower Saxony, and Alstom will supply 27 hydrogen trains until the end 2022 for operations in the Rhine-Main region. In addition, Alstom announced a trial in the Netherlands which will test further hydrogen powered trains in spring 2020.  

With Cummins as a leading power provider and Alstom as a worldwide pioneer for fuel cell mobility in passenger trains, this partnership provides our customers the right solution at the right time. Cummins continues to innovate emission-free transportation and providing the hydrogen fuel cells to power the world’s first fuel cell passenger train is just one of the latest examples of how we are continuing to build our reputation as a leading provider of electrified and hydrogen fuel cell power.  

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Green hydrogen: The power of wind

Green hydrogen: The power of wind

Now more than ever, people are looking for ways to store renewable energy for a flexible, low-carbon power supply. Hydrogen offers a solution. Using renewable sources such as wind, to produce hydrogen emits no greenhouse gasses (green hydrogen). Wind energy can be converted into hydrogen using an electrolyzer and utilized in several ways – from fuel-cell hydrogen trucks, buses and trains, to ships powered by liquid ammonia made from hydrogen, to a substitute for natural gas for heating homes

Here we look at three Cummins installations that use wind energy to generate green hydrogen.

1. Windgas Falkenhagen, Germany

Located in Falkenhagen in the state of Brandenburg, Germany, at the time of commissioning, the Windgas project was the world’s first mega-watt (MW) scale demonstration plant for storing wind energy in the natural gas grid (2MW). Uniper SE (site owners) chose Falkenhagen as the ideal location for the site because of wind energy surpluses in the region. 

Six Cummins HySTAT® 60-10 electrolyzers were installed and used to convert excess wind energy into hydrogen, then fed via a 2km pressurized hydrogen pipeline into the gas grid. In the first year of operation, this totalled more than two million kWh of hydrogen. 

Windgas Falkenhagen, Germany
Windgas Falkenhagen, Germany

Thanks to the success of the Falkenhagen project, a second 1.5 MW power-to-gas project (Cummins HyLYZER® 300-30) was set up in nearby Hamburg.

2. Hychico, Argentina

The Argentinean Patagonia has one of the best wind resources in the world, meaning that the electricity generated from their wind energy is some of the most affordable in the world. However, there is a problem - with a population of less than three inhabitants/km2, much of the wind energy is not utilized. Thanks to Cummins electrolyzers, the wind energy is now stored and exported in the form of hydrogen to other locations and industrial applications. 

Hychico, Argentina
Hychico, Argentina

Wind energy from the Diadema Wind Park, 20km northwest of the Comodoro Rivadavia City in Chubut Province, Argentina, provides energy for two Cummins HySTAT® 60-10 electrolyzers. The electrolyzers create hydrogen that is injected into natural gas fields and recovered for use in repowering units. The oxygen generated through the process of electrolysis (usually vented) is also stored and transported for use in industrial and high purity applications. 

3. Western Sydney Green Gas Project  

New South Wales’ first electrolyzer installation will use solar and wind energy to generate green hydrogen that will be injected and stored in the gas distribution network. The project developed by energy infrastructure company Jemena, with support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is Australia’s most comprehensive renewable hydrogen project to date and will use the Cummins HyLYZER® 200-30 to produce hydrogen that is blended with natural gas and injected into the Jemena Gas Network in New South Wales – Australia’s biggest gas distribution network – to replace natural gas with a zero emissions alternative. 

Western Sydney Green Gas Project
Western Sydney Green Gas Project

The construction of the project has begun and is on track to make renewable gas available to customers in 2021. The project plan includes the option for future inclusion of a hydrogen refueling station adjacent to the power-to-gas facility. The station would provide hydrogen to cylinder vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses and trucks. 

Hydrogen’s potential for storing and transporting energy from wind and other renewable sources, makes it a key enabler of a global transition to clean energy and Cummins is excited to be at the forefront.  

Look out for updates on more of Cummins green hydrogen projects in the near future! 

Stay Updated with New Power News

From long-range possibilities to innovations happening now, our New Power Nine newsletter brings you the top nine things you need to know about low-carbon energy each month. Subscribe today to get your first issue in your inbox.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins-Enbridge project brings large-scale hydrogen blending to North America

Cummins-Enbridge project brings large-scale hydrogen blending to North America
Cummins and Enbridge are bringing Hydrogen to homes

Greener natural gas may be coming soon to a grid near you. With the approval of a project by Cummins and Enbridge Gas to blend low-carbon hydrogen into Ontario’s natural gas network, a future with lower-emission natural gas is within reach.

Thanks to this blend, the pilot project will bring cleaner natural gas to the residential market on a major scale for the first time in North America.

The hydrogen for the project will be fed from the existing Cummins-Enbridge Power-to-Gas Electrolyzer Facility in Markham, Ontario. The plant was developed with support from the Canadian government, and it already has a demonstrated capability to convert the province’s surplus electricity into hydrogen— effectively balancing Ontario’s supply and demand of electricity.

The 2.5 megawatt electrolyzer facility — designed and built on a 5 megawatt scalable platform — features next-generation PEM electrolyzer from Cummins. The Cummins PEM electrolyzer has the highest power density, efficiency and smallest footprint of any such system in the world, making it an ideal power technology for this leading-edge pilot project.

“The Enbridge and Cummins partnership on innovating power-to-gas technology is further underscored by news of approval to proceed with injection into the gas grid. Cummins is invested and positioned to succeed as a leader in the world’s energy transformation to the hydrogen economy, and today’s announcement continues to build toward that success.”

– Amy Adams, Vice President of Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies at Cummins


Building customer trust

Through the pilot project, Enbridge will provide blended gas distribution service to over 3,600 customers in Markham, Ontario in 2021, preventing up to 117 tons of carbon emissions per year from entering the atmosphere.

With blending permitted up to two percent, this project would account for over 2% of hydrogen per year. This increase in demand will go a long way in further developing the hydrogen economy, setting a precedent for similar large-scale projects to follow.

Hydrogen blending is new, and many utility customers have questions about what using hydrogen-blended natural gas means for their everyday lives. After all, many of us depend on natural gas to keep our homes warm, heat our water or power common appliances on a daily basis.

To answer these questions and ensure customers of the safety and dependability of hydrogen blending, Enbridge completed a compatibility study on appliances in the blended gas distribution area. The study showed that the blended gas will have no adverse effects on appliances.

This is great news, as the home heating market has traditionally been a challenging frontier for low-emission solutions. This pilot helps further demonstrate how hydrogen can bridge the gap between greener power solutions and slow-evolving markets.

Successful implementation of the project will support Enbridge Gas in pursuing additional and larger-scale hydrogen blending activities in other parts of its distribution system, enabling the province to further reduce its carbon footprint in a major way.

“This project serves as an example of hydrogen’s capabilities, whether it’s to store energy or help reduce emissions in residential markets. This is just another example of how Cummins continues to innovate to provide our customers the power solutions they need.”

– Amy Adams, Vice President of Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies at Cummins

Thinking bigger picture

The value of hydrogen as a greener source of power reaches far beyond natural gas blending. Hydrogen is also a practical solution for storing renewable energy from intermittent power sources like wind or solar, which don’t have a dependable output thanks to unpredictable weather.

In this process, power-to-gas takes extra electricity from renewable energy sources and converts it into renewable hydrogen through electrolysis (the use of electricity to prompt a chemical reaction) for future use. Like electricity, hydrogen is an energy carrier with many uses.

The progress of the Cummins-Enbridge hydrogen blending pilot project demonstrates just one of the multitude of purposes electrolyzers can serve beyond the transportation and industrial sectors. Thanks to hydrogen, the world’s most common element, we have the opportunity to keep homes warm, heat water and even cook meals while showing our planet some much-needed kindness.

Stay Updated with New Power News

From long-range possibilities to innovations happening now, our New Power Nine newsletter brings you the top nine things you need to know about low-carbon energy each month. Subscribe today to get your first issue in your inbox.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins Milton Keynes chemists celebrate Earth Week

Cummins Milton Keynes chemists celebrate Earth Week

Happy Earth Day! On this planet-friendly day, we are celebrating Cummins electrochemists because this week is also Chemists Celebrate Earth Week. CCEW was created to co-exist with Earth Day and champion the positive role that chemistry plays in our world. Chemists have long promoted a better world through recycling, cleaner-burning fuels and green chemistry initiatives. 

Electrochemistry links chemical reactions and electricity. Understanding how it works and how to improve upon existing technologies is key to improving many aspects of our everyday lives. Without electrochemistry, we wouldn’t have portable devices like mobile phones. Our electrochemistry capabilities are part of Cummins’ secret sauce to advancing our innovations. For New Power, it helps us strategically innovate renewable energy technologies like balancing electricity generation and demand.

The Milton Keynes Electrochemistry Team is part of Corporate R&T’s global team of chemists that are innovating through chemistry. At their lab based at New Power’s site in Milton Keynes, UK, the team works closely with cell suppliers on new innovations in lithium-ion cell technology to develop Cummins’ next generation of batteries. Their goal is to better understand the cell capabilities in terms of energy, power, lifespan and re-charge behavior in order to identify the right cell for the right application.

In honor of Chemists Celebrate Earth Week, members of our Milton Keynes Electrochemistry Team shared more about how they are driving Cummins’ alternative power portfolio forward through chemistry. 

The one thing our chemists wish people knew about electrochemistry.

"The future of travel and energy storage relies on electrochemistry. This will be a combination of lithium ion battery and fuel cell technology, both of which operate on electrochemical principles. Electrochemistry has been around since life began and is critical for life to function. With every physical action and mental thought, there is an electrochemical process taking place." 

- Arun Patel, Milton Keynes Senior Mechanical Engineer

“Electrochemistry is vital in a wide range of industries and is becoming increasingly important in efforts to combat climate change. Because it is the basic science underlying batteries and fuel cells, electrochemistry is a vital foundation for prioritizing carbon-neutral life over the use of fossil fuels. The work we do in the lab allows us to gain a better understanding of the principles of electrochemistry and apply it towards how we create and store renewable energy.”

- Stephanie Morton, Milton Keynes Mechanical Engineer

Why our chemists are excited to come to work every day.

"The quality of our products relies on the electrochemistry data we provide to our stakeholders. Being directly involved in electrochemistry programs that helps Cummins achieve sustainability goals is something I am really proud of." 

- Finn Kumbula, Milton Keynes Laboratory Operations Manager

"Thanks to the power of electrochemistry, we can store lots of electrical energy and use this energy whenever we want without releasing toxic materials or gases into the environment in the process!" 

- Dami Taiwo, Milton Keynes Senior Electrochemistry Engineer

Our chemists are bettering the environment of tomorrow through advancements in zero emissions products today.

"Lithium ion battery chemistry is ever evolving. Cells and batteries are becoming less expensive, have more energy density, are increasing in safety, and can last longer. These advancements help to facilitate the adoption of electrification in the different applications and markets we serve in New Power." 

- John Forgie, Milton Keynes Electrochemistry Manager

"Several key forms of sustainable energy generation and storage are rooted in electrochemistry, including fuel cells and batteries. As the understanding and skill with these systems increase, the number of viable applications increases. New Power is driving the continued adoption and improvement of these technologies for a cleaner and greener tomorrow." 

- Michael Snowden, Milton Keynes Senior Electrochemistry Engineer

Interested in learning more about electrochemistry and how it works? Read Electrochemistry is for Everyone.

Stay Updated with New Power News

From long-range possibilities to innovations happening now, our New Power Nine newsletter brings you the top nine things you need to know about low-carbon energy each month. Subscribe today to get your first issue in your inbox.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins Hydrogen power takes flight

The world’s first hydrogen-powered aircraft, powered by Cummins fuel cells
The world’s first hydrogen-powered aircraft, powered by Cummins fuel cells

For hydrogen power, the sky is no longer the limit — it’s the starting point. With new hydrogen air applications, hydrogen-powered aviation has proven is within reach and Cummins is a part of it.

The world’s first hydrogen-powered aircraft, powered by Cummins fuel cells, was unveiled at the Stuttgart Airport in Germany this past December. Called the DLR-HY4, the four-seat airplane has successfully completed 30 2-hour test flights, offering a promising look at the future of lower-emission aviation.

The HY4 is a major step towards the adoption of environmentally friendly aviation because hydrogen can be sustainably made and stored using fuel cells. It’s the latest development in Cummins’ all-in commitment to creating a greener future powered by the world’s most abundant element. Adding the HY4’s success to the Cummins portfolio further demonstrates the feasibility of using hydrogen in a variety of applications.

Watch: Hy4 - Hydrogen electric fuel cell propulsion - zero emission passenger plane

The HY4 is powered by a Cummins fuel cell engine. The current model has a four-passenger capacity, but experts see the possibility of upscaling the aircraft to 1.5 megawatts, allowing for the transportation of up to 40 passengers for a distance of 2,000 kilometers.

Through the collaboration of world-leading science, industry and regulatory professionals, the project aims to identify the feasibility and interaction of redundant propulsion architecture with hydrogen fuel cells. The system features redundancy on hydrogen storage, the fuel cell system, energy distribution and electric motors.

Of course, great innovations like this don’t happen without teamwork. Cummins is proud to partner with numerous organizations on the H2FLY project, including Ulm University, DLR, H2FLY, Diehl Aerospace, Pipistrel, Politecnica di Milano, TU Delft and University of Maribor.

Emission-free aviation may seem too far beyond the horizon for many, but the DLR-HY4 proves that greener air travel is well within our reach. While it will take time and further innovation for hydrogen power to become widely available for aviation, the HY4’s successful test flights show promise and opportunity for hydrogen power to scale in a major way. And when that happens, Cummins will be there to power it as it takes flight.

Stay Updated with New Power News

From long-range possibilities to innovations happening now, our New Power Nine newsletter brings you the top nine things you need to know about low-carbon energy each month. Subscribe today to get your first issue in your inbox.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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