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Canadian Pacific announced yesterday that it will use Ballard Power Systems' fuel-cell modules as part of the railroad's hydrogen locomotive program.
CP announced late last year that it would develop what would become North America's first line-haul hydrogen-powered locomotive by retrofitting a former diesel-powered locomotive. The Ballard fuel-cell modules will provide a total of 1.2 megawatts of electricity to power the retrofitted unit. The fuel cells will work with battery technology to power the locomotive's electric traction motors.
Once operational, CP will conduct rail-service trials and qualification testing to evaluate the technology's readiness for the freight-rail sector, CP officials said in a press release.
Ballard plans to deliver six of its 200-kilowatt fuel-cell modules to CP this year. The company will also provide support to integrate the modules into the locomotives.
"How we power our trains matters to our customers, employees, shareholders and to the communities we operate in," said CP President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel. "This technology holds the possibility of eliminating emissions from freight-train operations, which already represent the most efficient method of moving goods over land."