null Una decena de empresas españolas se alían para adaptar por primera vez la propulsión de hidrógeno a un tren de alta velocidad

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23 Jan 2024

Ten Spanish companies join forces to apply hydrogen propulsion to a high-speed train for the first time

  • The Hympulso project is part of the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTES)
  • A new technical car with hydrogen and batteries to be developed for a Talgo 250 train, allowing it to run on clean energy on non-electrified lines.
  • The main partners are Talgo, Golendus, Ingeteam, Repsol, Sener and Optimus3D.


Madrid, 23 January 2024

Ten Spanish companies have joined forces to design, build and install, for the first time in the world, a propulsion system based on renewable hydrogen fuel cells on a high-speed train. Under the Hympulso project, the companies will develop a set of technologies that can be applied to the Talgo 250 'all-terrain' train, making it possible to electrify the rail network with energy generated entirely from renewable sources, even on lines without overhead power lines.

Led by Talgo, Hympulso also includes Golendus, Ingeteam, Optimus3D, Repsol and Sener as partners. Universidad Pontificia Comillas and Tecnalia are collaborators, while Adif is an observer. The initiative has received a grant of €6.5 million and is part of the Incentive Programme for the Innovative Value Chain and Knowledge of Renewable Hydrogen, as part of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

Hympulso will be comprehensive in nature: it will activate the entire renewable hydrogen value chain in the railway system, from production to consumption. The project will also make it possible to analyse the impact of the future transition on the various railway infrastructure assets managed by Adif, such as maintenance facilities or the track.

Thus, the project will result in a joint output of hydrogen supply installations adapted to railways -both mobile and static- and a pioneering prototype of a hybrid bimodal train for passengers with automatic track-gauge change, which will be able to run both on conventional and high-speed networks, using catenary supply when available, or hydrogen and batteries in those corridors that are not electrified.

This holistic perspective is key because tackling the many major technological challenges posed by the adoption of renewable hydrogen in rail transport will require the involvement of multiple stakeholders at all levels, and from both the public and private sectors.

An 'all-terrain' train

All project partners seek to evolve their enabling technologies and expertise in the field of renewable hydrogen with Hympulso. Talgo's objective will thus be to develop, manufacture and test dual-hybrid hydrogen battery traction on a Talgo 250 train, intended for long-distance operations on mixed sections: partially electrified and partially non-electrified.

Called Talgo 250, these trains have two technical end cars each (CET), which are currently used to generate electricity from diesel to power the traction units on sections without catenary. Under the Hympulso project, one of these diesel CETs will be replaced in a Talgo 250 unit by one equipped with fuel cells and batteries to supply electricity to the locomotives using 100% green, renewable hydrogen.

The scope of each partner is as follows:

Ingeteam will design, manufacture and test reversible high-power converters, capable of charging the batteries from the catenary. Repsol and Golendus will be responsible for developing two hydrogen refuelling facilities. Repsol will deploy a mobile facility, while Golendus' hydrogen plant will be a static production and supply facility. For the hydrogen supply facilities and the railway infrastructure, Sener will carry out an overall risk analysis and a simulation of the operation of the services. In both cases, a logistics control platform will be developed to monitor the use of hydrogen in the network.

Finally an SME, the Alava-based Optimus3D will work on more efficient and durable new materials, based on additive manufacturing, and new processes to be used in hydrogen applications.

As for the observer companies, Adif wants to develop its knowledge in the definition of requirements and use cases in the access to the railway infrastructure of hydrogen technology. It will develop the safety requirements associated with the infrastructure and the interfaces with vehicle and refuelling facility, as well as the design of standardised refuelling facilities and collaborate with the use cases on the hydrogen fuelling platform.

Adif will also include the comprehensive management of this new fuels within its wider hydrogen strategy; furthermore, it will contribute during track testing by easing the access to the rail infrastructure.

Initiatives contributing to the transformation of the Spanish economy

The Hympulso project is part of the 'Value chain: design, demonstration and validation of hydrogen-powered mobility' call, which forms part of the PERTE (Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation) for renewable energies, renewable hydrogen and storage (ERHA). In the resolution of the call for proposals, this project received the highest score for the soundness of its technical proposal and its innovative nature.

Under the PERTE designation, a sector is identified as a key area for the future of the economy. In total, twelve strategic projects have been approved in areas such as the development of electric and connected vehicles, renewable energies, renewable hydrogen and storage, cutting-edge health, the agri-food sector, the new language economy, the circular economy model, the shipbuilding industry, aerospace, the digitisation of the water cycle, microchips, the social and care economy and the decarbonisation of industry.

About Talgo

Talgo is the leading company in the design, manufacture and maintenance of lightweight high-speed trains. It is the main supplier of high-speed and very high-speed trains for Renfe and the supplier of trains for the high-speed project for the "Haramain" railway line between Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. Talgo is also the manufacturer chosen by the German operator Deutsche Bahn and the Danish operator DSB to decarbonise their network with Talgo 230 long-distance trains.

About Golendus

Golendus is an industrial SME from Extremadura with presence in other areas of Spain, member of the European Green Hydrogen Alliance and specialised in the transformation of engines and industrial/agricultural equipment to hydrogen, as well as in the manufacture and installation of hydrogenerators. It specialises in the manufacture of its own stacks and has 4 types of electrolysers in its catalogue. They are currently developing projects at national and international level.

About Ingeteam

Ingeteam is a team of more than 4,500 people in 24 countries, with more than 80 years of experience providing solutions to electrify society in an innovative and sustainable way through cutting-edge technology specialising in the conversion of electrical energy.

About Repsol

Repsol has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming a zero net emissions company by 2050. To this end, it is immersed in a transformation process which, based on technological neutrality, is leveraged on the growth of the renewable energy business, the circular economy, energy efficiency, renewable hydrogen and CO2 capture, use and storage (CCUS) technologies, as its main axes.

To decarbonise mobility, Repsol is committed to an energy model that combines all available and complementary solutions that enable rapid and cost-efficient decarbonisation, such as electrification, renewable and synthetic fuels and renewable hydrogen.

About Sener

Sener is a privately owned engineering and technology group founded in 1956, which seeks to offer its clients the most advanced technological solutions and enjoys international recognition thanks to its independence and its commitment to innovation and quality. Sener employs more than 3,400 professionals on five continents. Sener works in the Aerospace and Defence, Energy, Mobility, Advanced Installations for Data Centres, Digital and Naval sectors, as well as promoting, through industrial participations, companies in the renewable energy sector.

About Optimus 3D

Optimus 3D is a team of engineers specialised in Additive Manufacturing Technologies. With its own industrial 3D printers, it transforms the design and manufacture of final products and functional solutions towards the manufacture of lighter, safer and more efficient structures thanks to the different state-of-the-art 3D Printing technologies.

About Universidad Pontificia Comillas - ICAI

Universidad Pontificia Comillas is a pluralistic university community, inspired by the principles of Christian humanism, whose mission is the comprehensive education of people to become competent, ethical professionals committed to social transformation. Comillas has more than 30 chairs and research groups, and is at the top of the rankings in terms of training and employability rates.

About Tecnalia

TECNALIA is the largest applied research and technological development centre in Spain, a benchmark in Europe and a member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance. It collaborates with companies and institutions to improve their competitiveness, people's quality of life and achieve sustainable growth. It does so thanks to people who are passionate about technology and committed to building a better society.

About Adif

ADIF is a public company attached to the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda. Adif plays a leading role as a driving force in the railway sector, making railways the means of transport par excellence and facilitating access to the infrastructure on equal terms.

For further information, please contact:

Aída Prados and Íñigo Palacio - Estudio de Comunicación
Email: talgo@estudiodecomunicacion.com
Phone no.: +34 91 576 52 50