Originally Posted by maarten12100
You have to produce the hydrogen, so depending on where the energy used is coming from, it might be even worse than a diesel train.
Coulombic efficiency is very high for hydrogen fuel cells so if solar or wind power was used to make hydrogen this could make for a truly green of grid train. (It doesn't say whether they are going to store hydrogen by adsorption or by compressing it the later takes a large chunk of energy that is basically lost)
Even if grid power isn't green, odds are that burning a fuel to create hydrogen for the train is better than just burning that fuel within the train itself, similar to electric cars and fossil fuel power plants vs gasoline cars disregarding power plants. Not only that, even if it's as bad or worse now
, adding more green sources to the grid is an inevitably, while upgrading or retrofitting locomotives is going to be a bit more of a hassle and cost the companies running them a lot more money.
Originally Posted by epic1337
or just use straight electric, its much more efficient than converting it into hydrogen.
laying down conduction lines overhead would cost a lot, but this would reduce operating expense and divert the limited amount of hydrogen fuel to less ideal transports like buses or planes.
Biggest advantage is that these don't
need dedicated power, either third rails or overhead lines. A similar but much dirtier example would be a diesel-electric locomotive. In theory they could be powered directly by the grid but that's another aspect of the line to maintain, and with overhead lines you run into height issues (although these should be documented and standardized I'm sure).