The invention is the design of a power unit for freight-bearing locomotives using a Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell and a Gas Turbine engine and is intended to be used as the single power-providing unit onboard locomotives intended for freight service. The dual power sources form a single unit with synergistic energy efficiency and emissions reductions benefits. The unit is designed to operate on the currently-standard diesel fuel used in the locomotive industry.
In the past, the mitigation of pollution and increase in locomotive power efficiency has been addressed by industry through development and advancement of the diesel engines currently used in locomotive design. While these advancements have provided some increased efficiency, and decreased emissions, the UCI Solid Oxide Fuel Cell-Gas Turbine system provides for the greatest reduction in pollutant emissions and increase in system efficiency.
Unlike previous fuel cell based power systems for locomotives, this design is able to operate on a variety of fuels thereby allowing the use of the current diesel fuel infrastructure rather than relying on an undeveloped hydrogen supply network. In addition, the power of the system has the potential to operate at an even higher efficiency than the most advanced diesel engine designs. Furthermore, compared to the advanced single engine diesel systems, the UCI system is inherently modular in the fuel cell portion providing ease and the potential for low cost of maintenance.
Diesel locomotives for freight service
High efficiency, low emissions, modular, low maintenance costs, multi-fuel compatibility