BHEL invites EoI for partnering with BHEL for Hydrogen Fuel cell based DPRS with regenerative braking system

The Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for Hydrogen Fuel cell based DPRS with regenerative braking system1200 KW DEMU. This Expression of Interest (EoI) seeks response from Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs)/suppliers who have past experience in developing fuel cell/battery based hybrid power train along with associated control and suitably designed Energy Management Strategy (EMS) and storage module for retrofitment on 1600 HP DEMU.

Scope of work:

  • The scope will cover Design, supply, retrofitment, testing & validation, prove out, field trials,  of fuel cell & battery based power stack modules, hydrogen storage, power electronics/controls & associated equipments including necessary engineering  & supervision work and compliance with all safety norms for hydrogen uses for retrofitment of 1600 hp broad gauge DEMU DPC. 
  • The interfacing of the Fuel Cell Stack Controller with the existing VCU (Vehicle Control Unit) / Propulsion Control System of the DPC shall be a part of the Scope of work. Any structural change which will be part of retrofitment will have to be structurally validated for strength and durability by the bidder. It is the responsibility of the successful bidder to deploy competent personnel for handling this project to meet safety requirements. 
  • An indicative list of the equipment covered in scope of supply is as under: 
    • Hydrogen storage tank(s)/Cylinder(s).
    • Piping and control, safety, sensing devices for hydrogen storage.
    • Cables.
    • Hydrogen Fuel cell stack modules.
    • Air delivery, and Cooling Systems.
    • Battery Module.
    • Gauges & Fittings.
    • Control console / HMI / MMI.
    • Auxiliary power systems.
    • Microprocessor based control system with instrumentation, actuators, motor controllers, and a programmable automation controller (PAC) including Traction motor control, Converters/Inverters etc. 
    • Remote diagnostic system.
    • Any other accessory/sub system/sub assembly required for satisfactory functioning of the system.
    • On ground infrastructure for Hydrogen storage and refilling will be in the scope of bidder.
  • On ground hydrogen Infrastructure and supply: 
    • Hydrogen gas for operation of hydrogen fuel cell based hybrid powertrain shall be supplied by successful bidder during the commissioning trials, testing of the systems  and supply of hydrogen for next 06 months after successful commissioning of the retro-fitted DEMU.  
    • Successful bidder shall provide the Hydrogen storage facility on ground at nominated  yard/platform/depot to store minimum 2500 kg hydrogen either in single tank or in multiple tanks to meet the operational requirement for refilling the onboard hydrogen cylinders. 
    • Successful Bidder shall provide the provision in the design to facilitate manual replacement in-situ condition in yards/platforms/depots of the empty hydrogen cartridge/cylinders with filled cylinders carrying hydrogen at 350 bar.  
    • The infrastructure developed for refilling of hydrogen using standard arrangement for refilling onboard storage from the stationary / mobile / line-side hydrogen storage tanks / installation will be the sole property of Indian Railways.

Safety Audit: 

  • Successful bidders shall get the third party safety audit of hydrogen fuel cell based DPRS and the hydrogen storage facilities done by a reputed national / International agency which has experience in performing the safety audits of hydrogen storage and hydrogen fuel cell based systems. 
  • The selection of the firm for performing the safety audit shall be done with the approval of competent authority of Indian railways. 
  • Successful Bidder has responsibility of obtaining regulatory/safety compliance certification from concerned regulatory authorities in India both for hydrogen transportation and hydrogen storage in the form of mobile dispensing unit/any other suitable hydrogen storage facility  at nominated  yards.  
  • Indian Railways will assist successful bidders by providing land, power, illumination, water etc. necessary for setting up  the mobile dispensing unit or any other suitable hydrogen storage facility / installation at nominated yards/platforms/depots. 
  • List above is not exhaustive. Any other component / Assembly / Software/ Hardware etc., that is required for proper and safe functioning of the retrofitted equipment, will have to be supplied as a part of scope of work and will be the responsibility of the bidder.

About BHEL:

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is a Central Public Sector Enterprise, wherein Government of India is holding 63.06% of its equity. It is an integrated power plant equipment manufacturer and one of the largest engineering and manufacturing  companies of its kind in India having a turnover of about USD 5 billion. 
  • The company is engaged in the design, engineering, manufacture, construction, testing, commissioning and servicing of a wide range of products and services for the core sectors of the economy, viz. Power, Transmission, Industry, Transportation, Renewable Energy, Oil & Gas and Defence with over 180 product offerings to meet the needs of these sectors.  
  • Since its inception in 1964, BHEL has been the solid bedrock of evolution of India’s Heavy Electrical Equipment industry. 
  • The high level of quality & reliability of BHEL products is a testimony to its  adherence to international standards by acquiring and adapting some of the best  technologies from leading companies in the world including General Electric, Siemens AG, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. etc., together with technologies developed in its own R&D centres. BHEL invests more than 2.5% of turnover on R&D and innovation.
  • BHEL has been designing and manufacturing rolling stock for rail and urban transportation. BHEL has also been manufacturing Motors, Power electronics and Controllers for various transportation applications at its various factories. BHEL also has a Battery Packaging facility for space applications.  
  • In the transportation sector, BHEL is into the manufacture of complete electric and diesel electric locomotives and electrical assemblies/components including traction motors, traction transformers, power & auxiliary converters and controls, gear wheels etc. 
  • At Jhansi plant, they manufacture complete Electric Locomotives upto 6000 HP rating for mainline application of Indian Railways, Diesel Electric Locomotives from 350 HP to 3100 HP rating. 
  • Till date, they have supplied more than 370 nos. of main line electric locomotives Indian Railways and more than 250 nos. of diesel electric locomotives for shunting operations to different industries. 
  • They are currently executing an order for manufacture of a complete Electric  Locomotive of 6000 HP. Their Jhansi plant has an installed capacity of 75 nos. locomotives per year. 
  • At Jhansi, they have complete state-of-the-art facilities for manufacturing, fabrication and testing of bogies, loco shells, under frames and other mechanical components of locomotives. They have recently developed India’s first state-of-the-art WAG7 Electric Locomotive with regenerative capabilities.  
  • They have also developed India’s first Traction Motor for 9000 HP Electric Locomotives. 
  • At Bhopal and Bengaluru plants, among electrical propulsion equipment, they manufacture and supply traction motors, traction transformers, power converters (IGBT/GTO) & controls, auxiliary converters (IGBT/GTO) and vehicle control units for electric locomotives, diesel electric locomotives, EMUs, DEMUs & and metros trains of Indian Railways. 
  • Their manufacturing range includes conventional DC drive, IGBT based 3-Phase drive equipment upto 6000 HP rating. BHEL has also been in the forefront of providing maintenance and spares/replacement support to Indian Railways for their locomotive fleet. They have a full-fledged service department located at major centers in the country.


  • BHEL is a regular supplier of traction propulsion equipment to Indian Railways’ production units for manufacturing of EMUs by them.
  • The hydrogen fuel cell based rail  propulsion technologies powered by PEMFC  (proton exchange membrane based Fuel Cell) along with a suitably sized battery bank are being tried out globally for powering railroad vehicles. 
  • Elimination of fossil  fuel and very  low emissions are inherent advantages of such a rolling stock. Indian Railways plans to convert the existing 1600 hp DEMU into hybrid fuel cell and battery based Distributed Power Rolling Stock (DPRS) with regenerative braking.
  • Indian Railways has floated tender no:IROAF-FUELCELL-DEMU-P1-21 (refer Annexure-A, Annexure-Band Annexure C) for converting the existing 1600 hp  DEMU  10 car configuration (2 DPC’s + 8 TC’s) into hybrid fuel cell and battery based Distributed Power Rolling Stock (DPRS) with regenerative  braking. All tender  documents are uploaded on the IREPS website. Link:

In case any amendment/ corrigendum is issued to this EoI, it shall be notified only at

Source: BHEL-Tender | Image Credit (representational): BHEL