HYDROGEN POWER FOR LIGHT RAIL OPERATION: OPERATIONAL FEASIBILITY AND PRACTICAL APPLICABILITY
1 online resource (124 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
As urban areas continue to grow and become denser, transit will be vital in the success and progress of metropolitans. Light rail, particularly in the United States, has become a popular mode of transportation that efficiently and reliably moves people. The need to avoid point-of-use emissions and space-intensive and costly catenary systems of intercity railway is the motivation for the study of hydrogen-power for propulsion. The goal of this thesis is to evaluate the potential for hydrogen-power for light rail operation on a feasibility, energy demand, and emission production basis. This study is simulation-based, and makes use of the route information, train characteristics, and train resistance equations to determine the movement and energy demand of a train. The line in study is the Blue Line Extension (BLE) in Charlotte, N.C., which is a 9.3-mile long light rail line under construction at the time of this writing (August 2014). The line is operated by the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), who has chosen Siemen's S70 as the rolling stock for the BLE. An initial simulation of the S70 electric train on the BLE sets the basis for the development of concept hydrogen and hydrogen-hybrid trains. The two concept trains are then simulated on the BLE for a comparative study. The results of the simulations indicate that a hydrogen train and a hydrogen-hybrid train are technically feasible for operation on the BLE. Both concept trains complete a round-trip journey quicker than the electric train and have similar power-to-weight ratios. Due to increased mass and volume requirements, the hydrogen and hydrogen-hybrid trains require additional energy at the wheels for propulsion- 10.1% and 10.7% more, respectively. As the energy is tracked backwards through the energy pathway, the inefficiencies of the hydrogen trains' vehicle efficiency and hydrogen production process are apparent. The electric train, due to improved efficiencies throughout the energy pathway, uses substantially less feedstock energy. The hydrogen and hydrogen-hybrid train require 165% and 87% more energy per year at the pantograph (or in the tank), respectively, than the electric train. The electric train also produces substantially less emissions due to greater energy efficiency. The hydrogen and hydrogen-hybrid train produce 162% and 85% more CO2 emissions per year, respectively, than the electric train. A hydrogen or hydrogen-hybrid train meets the operation and safety standards set for light rail operation, but does not meet the energy use and emission production standards necessary for adoption of a renewable technology.
FUEL CELLHYBRIDHYDROGENLIGHT RAILRAILTRANSIT
Fan, WeiChen, Shen-En
Thesis (M.S.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2014.
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