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ABB traction motors for electric multiple units (EMU)

Every train is unique – and so should its motors be. ABB makes EMU motors based on actual operating conditions. Here we outline some key differentiating factors in traction motor design when configuring EMUs with few and several driven axles, respectively.

ABB EMU motors

ABB’s EMU motor portfolio includes welded stator frame motors that are forced cooled using an external fan for trains with few driven axles, as well as framed motors with weldless (casted) housing suitable for trains with several driven axles.

Few driven axels
Several driven axels

A main argument for configuring an EMU with few driven axles is to keep the total number of components as low as possible. This is, in turn, attractive from both cost and reliability point of view.

With fewer motors generating the tractive effort, each motor needs to be more powerful. These motors are typically forced cooled from an external fan, an arrangement that requires a high degree of integration into the car body. Each motor must be perfectly tailored and optimized from a system perspective, rather than being mechanically optimized individually.

This propulsion type typically requires traction motors with high torque density. ABB’s welded stator frame motor utilizes the given space envelop to the maximum, providing the optimum performance-space ratio for trains with few driven axles.

Train manufacturers who prefer EMUs with several driven axles can more easily achieve the required acceleration and higher redundancy.

Several driven axles mean more motors – each of which will be smaller in size and power. As a consequence, there is typically more space available for each traction motor. These motors are however as challenging to integrate into the car body as motors designed for fewer driven axles.

For EMUs with distributed power and several driven axles, ABB’s framed motor family with its cast housing offers almost endless possibilities to adapt motor fixations. Furthermore, the robust weldless housing structure surrounding the stator dampens electromagnetic noise (EMC).

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