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Research project for climate-neutral shunting operation with hydrogen

How can shunting locomotives be operated in a climate-neutral way? Six project partners from research and industry are working on answers to this question. The researchers are focussing on converting the drive to hydrogen. They are examining the requirements for future shunting locomotives and determining the prerequisites for the port and refuelling infrastructure. The project partners are also drawing up ecological and economic balance sheets.
To evaluate whether hydrogen is the most efficient solution, drives with overhead lines and battery operation on the last mile are also being tested and compared with operation using hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO). The analyses are based on extensive, unique series of measurements in the seaports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven.
The project will make an important contribution to achieving CO2 neutrality in the ports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven as quickly as possible.

The conversion of shunting operations to hydrogen also offers other energy-intensive sectors in the port a CO2-free perspective, as they can also use the necessary infrastructure, from delivery to refuelling (intermodal approach). For this reason, hydrogen technology is interesting for shunting operations. The locos could be fuelled with green, climate-neutral hydrogen. The energy stored in the hydrogen is converted back into electricity with fuel cells, for example, or used by direct combustion.

The measurements are accompanied by extensive ecological and economic studies. In this context, the use of assistance and incentive systems will be examined in order to promote energy efficient driving behaviour and sustainable shunting operations.

The research and development project is expected to run until 30th of september and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport as part of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme. The funding directive is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ). The project volume totals over 1.2 million euros.

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