FVB Energy Inc. Technical Assistance Project

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The request made by FVB asked for advice and analysis regarding the value of recapturing the braking energy of trains operating on electric light rail transit systems. A specific request was to evaluate the concept of generating hydrogen by electrolysis. The hydrogen would, in turn, power fuel cells that could supply electric energy back into the system for train propulsion or, possibly, also to the grid. To allow quantitative assessment of the potential resource, analysis focused on operations of the SoundTransit light rail system in Seattle, Washington. An initial finding was that the full cycle efficiency of producing hydrogen as ... continued below

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DeSteese, John G. May 17, 2011.

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Description

The request made by FVB asked for advice and analysis regarding the value of recapturing the braking energy of trains operating on electric light rail transit systems. A specific request was to evaluate the concept of generating hydrogen by electrolysis. The hydrogen would, in turn, power fuel cells that could supply electric energy back into the system for train propulsion or, possibly, also to the grid. To allow quantitative assessment of the potential resource, analysis focused on operations of the SoundTransit light rail system in Seattle, Washington. An initial finding was that the full cycle efficiency of producing hydrogen as the medium for capturing and reusing train braking energy was quite low (< 20%) and, therefore, not likely to be economically attractive. As flywheel energy storage is commercially available, the balance of the analysis focused the feasibility of using this alternative on the SoundTransit system. It was found that an investment in a flywheel with a 25-kWh capacity of the type manufactured by Beacon Power Corporation (BPC) would show a positive 20-year net present value (NPV) based on the current frequency of train service. The economic attractiveness of this option would increase initially if green energy subsidies or rebates were applicable and, in the future, as the planned frequency of train service grows.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-20407
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1015273 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1015273
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc834121

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  • May 17, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 4:33 p.m.

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DeSteese, John G. FVB Energy Inc. Technical Assistance Project, report, May 17, 2011; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc834121/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.