likely fuel operating cost of a hydrogen fuelled, Tig/m tram / light rail from offshore wind and electrolysis

Above: MRV-3 SERIES  100 passenger single-body hydrogen powered tram

Below is a note from Brad Read, President of TIG/m  giving the energy consumption of a MRV-3 SERIES  hydrogen-fuelled tram.  According to Brad, the power consumption is about 1 kWh/m, so at Fred’s cost ( see his note below) of say  £70/MWh / 7p/kWh, this will cost 7 p/mile.  Let’s say an average of only 10 passengers, ( max is 100) this would cost a passenger 7 p for a 10-mile trip, which on the face of it is neither here nor there.
Note in fact, only 20% of the energy comes from hydrogen, the rest from a battery, so the hydrogen component of cost will be about 20% of the 7p, the 80%  will cost the prevailing cost of power.

Of course, it is horses for courses, OHL may be a better solution depending on local circumstances but the cost of electrolytic hydrogen does not seem to rule it out per se.


David Andrews
Chair Bath & Bristol Area  Trams Association
Chair Claverton Energy Group   


Brad Read

AttachmentsFri, 14 Jan, 21:13

to me

Hi Dave:

First of all, for the Coast Futura project, we used the MRV-3 because we
could truck it intact.

We also make the MRV-4:

Secondly, there are many site-specific factors that affect consumption so I
will use general figures from actual operation (not theory). ( my emphasis – DA)

TIG/m propulsion is Battery-Dominant. The energy requirement for a
particular daily duty cycle is calculated in these percentages; Battery =
60%, Regenerative braking = 20%, H²gas = 20% . The Fuel cell is only called
upon to keep the Battery System within a predetermined state of charge. In
other words, the fuel cell may or may not be called upon depending on the
conditions (hours of operation, passenger loads, and ambient temperatures,
etc.) of a particular service day. The propulsion system components are
designed to provide 25% more energy than would be required for the
worst-case scenario on any particular site-specific operation.

On the Coast Futura Project we drove approximately 85 miles per day (all
seats full, with full-time A/C) utilizing approximately 45% of the battery
energy. This equals approximately 1 kWh/mi. During these 10 hour passenger
service days the fuel cell was never activated by the computer because it
was not needed. We occasionally turned on the fuel cell manually to
demonstrate battery charging while in operation.

With our specific equipment at peak efficiency we expend 44kW to produce a
kg of H² @ 350 bar in the Maintenance Facility. Our Fuel Cell can generate
38 kW from a kg of H² during passenger service operations and sends this
energy to the battery system through the on-board battery charger.

I hope that is clear. Please feel free to ask any other questions.

Best regards,

Brad Read



Office: 818.709.8500

Mobile: 818.815.9119

From Fred Starr, Fri, 15 Jul 2022 at 12:14, Fred Star:

To Dave Andrews

Hydrogen made at an electricity cost of £37.35 MWh is likely to cost over £60/MWh. The real killer is the capital cost of electrolysis.
Last year I sent out a resume of my presentation to the Guldford U3A in which at an electricty cost of £23.92/MWh the hydrogen cost was just over £42/MWh. This would make electrolytic hydrogen just about competive with that from steam reforming.
As regards hydrogen for trams you have neglected the costs of compression and storage. I would be surprised if the end figure was less than £70/MWh.
On Fri, 15 Jul 2022 at 11:48, Dave Andrews <> wrote:
Offshore wind is now very cheap so the cost of hydrogen is also  very cheap even though say 30% of the energy is lost in the electrolysis process.
A further 60% may be lost in the conversion of hydrogen energy to to shaft energy in an engine.
Nevertheless, whilst overall less efficient than other energy transmission techs, such as direct use of electricity and OHL, the  lower overall efficiency does not in and of itself rule hydrogen used out because the final cost of the hydrogen fuel is only a small percentage of the cost of operating the vehicle.
1. The energy loss in the original electrolysis process, 30%, can be captured and used for building heating in District heating schemes.
2. On the vehicle the 60% waste heat from the engine can be used in winter for vehicle heating which otherwise would require Direct electric heating.
3. In the summer the engine waste heat can in principle be used for absorption chilling air-conditioning which otherwise would come from direct electricity use.
Example hydrogen fuelled tram:

As ever it is a case of horses for courses and in many cases overhead wire direct electric fed trams may be the best solution but simply becuase hydroten may be expensive, this does not rule out  hydrogen trams.

Best Wishes

David Andrews
Chair Bath Trams
Claverton Energy Group
07795 842295

———- Forwarded message ———
From: John Daglish <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2022, 09:52
Subject: [Claverton] Offshore wind cfd
To: <>