South Korean hydrogen fuel cell tram project

SOUTH KOREA: A hydrogen-electric tram demonstration project has been launched by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, which aims to adapt existing automotive hydrogen technologies for rail use to develop a strong position for South Korean suppliers in the global light rail market.

‘While we are a world leader in automotive hydrogen technology, our transition to hydrogen in other fields of transport has been proving relatively slow’, said a spokesperson for the ministry. ‘We anticipate that this project will accelerate the commercialisation of hydrogen throughout all areas of transport.’

The project is costed at 42·4bn won, with the government to contribute 28·2bn won. The aim is to produce the hydrogen subsystems and fuelling stations in 2022 and complete a prototype tram in 2023, ahead of mass production from 2024.

Domestic deployments could include the cities of Ulsan and Dongtan, with target export markets including Europe and southeast Asia.

Fuel cells originally designed for Hyundai NEXO cars will be reduced in height for mounting on the tram roof, and the project partners will develop components including flexible high-pressure pipes to connect multiple roof-mounted hydrogen storage tanks. The tram would have a power output of 380 kW, equivalent to four NEXO car fuel cells.

South Korean hydrogen tram project
Hyundai Rotem systems integration
Maxis motors
Core Chips sensors
Fullohm KD brakes
SJ Steel body
A&M Mecatech cooling
Korea Automotive Technology Institute fuel cell expertise
GMB Korea fuel cell thermal management
ETIS fuel cell controls
Donghee Industrial hydrogen tanks
Hwaseung R&A flexible pipes
CS Enertech battery
Hanyang and Sogang universities design
Korea Railroad Research Institute technology standards and performance evaluation
TÜV Süd Korea domestic and European railway safety certification
Ulsan Technopark infrastructure and operations technology supervision
Cobiz small business centre business model development
Bumhan Fuel Cell fuelling stations
Institute of Gas Safety R&D safety verification of fuelling stations)
University of Ulsan optimising operations