Strong partners for emission-free mobility: Siemens Mobility hands over fuel cell to Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for research purposes

An innovative research project to decarbonize rail transport is receiving support from industry: Albrecht Neumann, CEO Rolling Stock, handed over a fuel cell for research purposes to the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN) on behalf of Siemens Mobility.

Starke Partner für emissionsfreie Mobilität: Siemens Mobility übergibt HI ERN Brennstoffzelle zu Forschungszwecken
Albrecht Neumann (Siemens Mobility)
Siemens Mobility GmbH

„Siemens Mobility is at the forefront of fighting climate change by manufacturing emission free hydrogen trains”, said Albrecht Neumann, CEO Rolling Stock at Siemens Mobility. ”We are proud to support research to enhance the effectiveness of hydrogen technology by gifting a fuel cell to our excellent, local Helmholtz-Institute in Erlangen-Nürnberg.”

The fuel cell will be used in a research project of the HI ERN, which aims at equipping trains with the emission-free LOHC technology and is funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy:

Starke Partner für emissionsfreie Mobilität: Siemens Mobility übergibt HI ERN Brennstoffzelle zu Forschungszwecken
Peter Wasserscheid (HI ERN)
Siemens Mobility GmbH

"We are very pleased about this further intensification of our cooperation with Siemens Mobility", said Prof. Peter Wasserscheid. "The fuel cell handed over today will be used by HI ERN in cooperation with FAU to realise hydrogen-based solutions for zero-emission train transport on non-electrified lines using the LOHC technology. In our views, this strong cooperation here in Erlangen opens up excellent research perspectives and great potential for accelerated technology development."

Almost 40 percent of the German rail network is still not electrified. An expansion would be very costly and time-consuming and thus hardly profitable for routes with little traffic. The use of battery-electric locomotives is also limited to very short routes, as battery capacities in this power class are discharged too quickly. For non-electrified routes, however, trains powered by hydrogen are an option. These run completely emission-free and CO2-neutral, provided green hydrogen is used.

Particularly in the range of high energy requirements, LOHC technology offers decisive advantages over the use of compressed hydrogen or cryogenic liquefied hydrogen: LOHC stands for "Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier" and is compatible with the existing infrastructure for diesel fuels. This means that the construction of expensive cryogenic or compressed hydrogen storage facilities can be avoided.

The researchers at HI ERN are developing an innovative application scenario: In the so-called LOHC-PowerPack, hydrogen is released on board a train set and directly converted into electricity via a fuel cell. The LOHC-PowerPack is designed as an ISO container with modular performance and capacity and can thus be adapted to the respective requirements. In this project, for example, the fuel cell provided by Siemens Mobility will generate 200 kW of electrical power, which can be continuously supplied with hydrogen for eight hours by the LOHC it carries. The demonstration run is scheduled for 2025.

HI ERN is collaborating with Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) to conduct the necessary tests of the fuel cell. The Chair of Fluid System Technology, headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Wensing, is contributing its expertise in the field of thermodynamic analysis of drive systems.

Starke Partner für emissionsfreie Mobilität: Siemens Mobility übergibt HI ERN Brennstoffzelle zu Forschungszwecken
Jochen Steinbauer (Siemens Mobility), Albrecht Neumann (Siemens Mobility), Carolin Knecht (Siemens Mobility), Michael Wensing (FAU), Peter Wasserscheid (HI ERN), Michael Geißelbrecht (HI ERN), Julian Kadar (HI ERN), Lukas Weiß (FAU) (left to right)
Siemens Mobility GmbH



Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid

Director and Head of Research Department Chemical Hydrogen Storage

    Building Brainergy-Park-Jülich /
    Room T3.94
    +49 2461/61-4499

    Dr. Julian Kadar

    Head of Team "Process Units for Chemical Hydrogen Storage"

      Building HIERN-Cauerstr /
      Room 3026
      +49 9131-12576115

      Last Modified: 25.05.2023