Robot fuels hydrogen-powered trains-Xinhua

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Robot fuels hydrogen-powered trains

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-05 15:55:15

A robot checks a bullet train at a maintenance base in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, Jan. 25, 2024.  (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

HOHHOT, June 5 (Xinhua) -- As a heavy-haul train entered a hydrogen fueling station, an automatic robot extended its arm, took out the hydrogenation nozzle and began refueling the train.

The hydrogen fueling station for CHN Energy's heavy-haul trains recently started commercial operation in Batuta, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, north China.

The station is equipped with a low-temperature resistant automatic hydrogenation robot and a high-flow hydrogenation machine, independently developed and manufactured in China.

The robot can refuel a hydrogen-powered train within 30 minutes, which will power the train for eight hours, according to CHN Energy, which added that the train boasts a range of 800 kilometers before it needs refueling.

The robot can not only achieve all-weather continuous operation and large flow automatic hydrogenation at temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius, but also ensure safe and stable operation, effectively reduce personnel errors, control safety risks and save operational costs.

Boasting explosion-proof, electronic control and air-operation systems, the robot's anti-interference 3D camera combination can conduct visual positioning of moving targets.

Under the outdoor lighting, it can automatically complete visual identification and fueling without manual intervention, said Zhang Kai, a technician at the hydrogen fueling station.

The fault self-diagnosis and alarm functions can monitor the operating environment of both trains and the robot in real time and ensure a reliable, stable and safe hydrogen fueling service.

The robot has passed strict explosion-proof tests and achieved certificate in this regard, said Zhang.

Research and development of the automatic hydrogenation robot, which was designed to serve high-power hydrogen trains, started in 2022.

CHN Energy, one of the robot's developers, promised to continue promoting the application of intelligent robot technology and to extend the research on automatic petrol refueling robots and non-petrol service robots.

From 2015 to 2022, China's annual production of industrial robots soared from 33,000 units to 443,000 units. The latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that the production volume in the first quarter of this year reached 120,000 units.

After rapid development in recent years, China's industrial robot industry has made significant strides in both product technology and practical application. 

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