Alstom has struck an alliance with France’s Liebherr – Aerospace and Transportation, which focuses on the production of compressors for fuel cells, directed towards optimising hydrogen systems.
This partnership intends to enhance the durability of fuel cells, raise their power density, as well as reduce the cost of such solutions.
The aim is to increase the use of hydrogen in the railway sector.
Alstom France president Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud said: “To develop a hydrogen ecosystem, particularly in France, we need to mobilise the public authorities and all the players in this sector. As in many fields, we are innovating with structuring partnerships: Società nazionale Metanodotti (Snam), Plastic Omnium, Hynamics, Eversholt and now Liebherr.”
This collaboration comes after Alstom took over Helion Hydrogen Power, a start-up specialising in high-powered fuel cells, in April.
As a provider of turbochargers to fuel cell system integrators, Liebherr is expected to contribute to the process of cutting down emissions from the rail industry.
According to Alstom, this tie-up is ‘an additional asset’ to support the expansion of its hydrogen business.
Currently, Alstom’s hydrogen business depends on its site in Tarbes, an international Centre of Excellence for ‘green’ traction systems, and at the Alstom Hydrogène site in Aix-en-Provence.
Last year, Alstom reached a five-year agreement with energy infrastructure company Snam for the development of hydrogen trains, along with associated infrastructure, in Italy.
Under this agreement, Alstom will produce and upkeep the hydrogen trains (new or retrofitted).
Snam will be responsible for providing the infrastructure for the production, transport and refuelling of these green trains.
In September this year, Alstom partnered with Plastic Omnium for the development of hydrogen storage systems for the railway sector.