World’s first hydrogen terminal tractor lands at Port of Valencia


The Port of Valencia has received a hydrogen-powered terminal tractor, one of the pilots to be tested within the framework of the European H2PORTS project.

The tractor disembarked on 24 April at around 4.00 pm at the VALTE terminal of the Grimaldi Group where it will be tested in real operations.

The 4×4 Ro-Ro tractor is the first hydrogen powered unit in the world and was developed by research and technology hub, ATENA.

The refuelling and operation tests will start next week under the supervision of the technical team of ATENA, VALTE, Grimaldi Group, Centro Nacional del Hidrógeno, Carburos Metálicos, and Fundación Valenciaport as coordinator of this initiative.

The terminal tractor has a fuel cell/battery hybrid powertrain which allows the vehicle to perform all the intensive tasks that are required during Ro-Ro operations.

Its hydrogen storage system, made of four type 3 cylinders (350 bar), has an overall capacity of around 12 kilogrammes, which guarantees a continuous operation of at least six hours before refuelling.

The electric motor is reportedly suitable for power demanding applications as it is fed by a high-performance LiFePO4 battery, with 25-Kilowatt hour energy capacity, and a 70-kilowatt fuel cell module.

In particular, the electric motor can receive power for traction from the fuel cell and battery simultaneously or charge the battery during braking or decelerations.

The fuel cell can also provide power both to the electric motor and the battery.

READ: Valenciaport recoups 11 per cent

According to Valenciaport, the hybrid powertrain shows high operational efficiency since it takes advantage of a significant share of kinetic energy recovery, up to 25 per cent.

The port added that the technology shows some advantages compared to other available zero emission technologies like pure electric versions.

Earlier this year, Associated British Ports (ABP) became the first UK port operator to trial a hydrogen fuelled tractor in its container terminal at the Port of Immingham.

More recently, the Port of Valencia welcomed the arrival of the first load of hydrogen (H2) to supply the refuelling station located on the Xità quay.

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