Brilliant orange locomotive, which debuted this month in Qingdao, China, is reminiscent of a bullet train, at least until he moves. But this new means of transport — the tram, not the train reaches a maximum speed of approximately 43 miles per hour (69,2 km/h).
In the polluted smog of China, however, speed is not the most important feature of those possessed by the new tram: its only emission is water.
This tram, the first of its kind, runs on hydrogen are converted into electricity through onboard fuel cells. Refueling takes just three minutes, after which the tram is capable of carrying 380 passengers at a distance of approximately 62 miles (efficiency of 99.78 km).
The obvious problems facing hydrogen-powered rail transport is the lack of tram tracks. In the vast expanse of China is only about 133 km of tram track passing in just seven cities. However, to state the manufacturer of the tram, the company's Qingdao Sifang Co., there is still reason for optimism. Chinese officials intend to make a big bet on the technology used in the tram.
According to state news Agency Xinhua, the government plans to allocate 200 billion yuan ($32 billion) over the next five years to increase tram track more than ten times, and it's more than 1200 miles (1931 km), and buy more trams. Sifang also makes more traditional trams that connect to overhead power lines or batteries.
However, to put this tram on hydrogen energy on the rails, "Sifang took two years to address key technological problems with scientific research institutes," explains Liang Jianying (Liang Jianying), the chief engineer of Sifang.
Hydrogen is an extremely clean fuel and its only emission is water, it also has a high energy density. "The average distance of a tram line in China is about 15 kilometers, this means that one filling for our tram, enough to make three trips at both ends," said Liang.
Hydrogen is also a potential satellite of renewable energy sources such as solar, as it can store excess energy (i.e., electricity that cannot be used immediately). But this prospect can be realized only in a few years, at least in scale.
As for the cars, so far only Toyota is the only automaker that demonstrated the hydrogen sedan Mirai, which is expected to go on sale in the U.S. later this year. "Investments of Toyota in hydrogen is much higher than any of their Chinese counterparts," said Xue of Sichuan (Xu Sichuan), Professor, School of automotive studies, Tongji University. published
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