英国将测试一种新型发动机,该发动机可以帮助铁路脱碳-氢动力火车。

2020年05月11日

来源:摩天登录国际教育服务

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随着旧的柴油火车在世界铁路网络范围内逐步被淘汰,英国将测试一种新型发动机,该发动机可以帮助铁路脱碳-氢动力火车。

在气候危机中,交通运输行业对脱碳的需求不断增长,而Hydroflex只是其中的一种产品。 2016年,德国推出了Coradia iLint,这是世界上第一台以氢为动力的火车,它可以依靠一箱燃料行驶600英里,与传统火车依靠一箱柴油实现的行驶距离相当。美国的工程师也正在努力为各州带来一种“水力”版本。但是,由于铁路已经是交通运输中最低的温室气体排放者之一,因此,对铁路系统进行大修的价值是否值得,还有待观察。

根据机械工程师协会的数据,英国已经实现了42%的电气化行驶里程,这意味着如果这些火车使用可再生能源,它们已经准备好实现零碳排放。从汉普郡到伦敦的一条线路目前是世界上唯一仅靠太阳能运行的线路。但是,英国58%的轨道尚未电气化,因此仍需要柴油火车来保持这些区域之间的铁路连接。

Hydroflex的工程师表示,氢动力火车可能是英国铁路系统脱碳的答案,而不会为此增加电气化轨道的成本。根据对英国和欧洲大陆的20条线路的评估,电气化一条公里的轨道可能会花费75万英镑至100万英镑(96.5万美元至130万美元)。氢动力火车价格较低,因为它们不需要大修轨道,并且可以通过对现有的柴油火车进行改装来制造。这在乡村地区尤其有益,因为乡村地区的路程更长,但旅客人数较少,因此费用合理。

但是氢火车面临着自己的挑战。

伯明翰大学教授,Hydroflex项目负责人斯图尔特·希尔曼森说:“储存约20公斤氢气的燃料电池,足以运行三个小时。” 因此,长途旅行尚不可行。伯明翰大学铁路研究与教育中心的工程师,波特布鲁克在Hydroflex上的合作伙伴,正在研究突破这些限制的方法。

As old diesel trains are phased out of rail networks around the world, the UK is about to test a new type of engine that could help to decarbonise railways – hydrogen-powered trains.

In the midst of the climate crisis, the demand for decarbonisation across transport industries has grown and the Hydroflex is just one product of that. In 2016, Germany unveiled the Coradia iLint, the world’s first hydrogen-powered train, which can run for 600 miles on a single tank of fuel – on par with the distances that traditional trains achieve on a tank of diesel. Engineers in the US are also working on bringing a version of a “hydrail” to the states. However, since rail is already among the lowest greenhouse gas emitters in transportation, it remains to be seen whether the value of a massive overhaul of rail systems will be worth it.

The UK already has 42% of its route miles electrified, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, meaning those trains are ready to become zero-carbon, if they use a renewable source of power. A single line running to London from Hampshire is currently the only one in the world to run solely on solar power. However, the remaining 58% of UK track is not yet electrified, so diesel trains are still needed to keep those areas connected by rail.

Engineers working on the Hydroflex say that hydrogen-powered trains could be the answer to decarbonising the UK’s rail system without incurring the high cost of electrifying its track. According to an assessment of 20 lines in Britain and mainland Europe, electrifying a single kilometer of track can cost £750,000 to £1m ($965,000 to $1.3m). Hydrogen-powered trains are less expensive, because they don’t require massive track overhauls and they can be created by retrofitting existing diesel trains. This is especially beneficial in rural areas where there are more miles to cover, but fewer passengers to justify the expense.

But hydrogen trains come with their own challenges.

“We store about 20kg of hydrogen, and that is enough to run the fuel cell for three hours,” says Stuart Hillmansen, professor at Birmingham University and leader of the Hydroflex project. As such, longer-distance journeys wouldn’t yet be feasible. Engineers at the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education, Porterbrook’s partner on the Hydroflex, are working on ways to extend these limits.

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