Smart energy management solutions bring significant energy savings

Smart energy management solutions bring significant energy savings

ABB's ENVILINE™ energy management systems for DC rail infrastructure increase energy efficiency, lower costs and improve the quality of electrical energy

Rail transport is one of the most efficient means of land transport. It is also environment-friendly, with the energy consumption level estimated to be 9.5 times lower than that of road transport. Although rail transport is already an efficient means of transport, the industry never ceases to look for new ways of improving energy efficiency and optimizing operations.

There are many ways to increase efficiency in rail, starting with reducing the weight of vehicles, applying specific, air-resistant shapes, through to optimizing timetables and implementing advanced technologies in vehicles and within track-side equipment. Performance results are achieved, for example, from a low level of friction between wheels and rails, which minimizes the waste of energy used to overcome the rolling resistance.

Better energy management and recycling braking energy plays a crucial role in the equation to reduce electricity consumption. Energy storage systems or inverters as a part of the traction substation infrastructure recover the energy generated by the vehicles during braking. With these technologies energy usage is further optimized. With an energy storage system (ESS) or energy recuperation system (ERS), the overall energy consumption decreases considerably, and also reduces the power demands on the electrical network.

ABB’s ENVILINE portfolio has a wide range of reliable and energy-efficient products for DC rail infrastructure. For efficient energy management, the ENVILINE ERS and ENVILINE ESS offer cost-effective solutions in applications up to 1500 V DC. With these technologies, energy consumption can be reduced as much as 30 percent.

The ENVILINE ERS enables the recuperation of energy generated by a vehicle during braking. The technology is based on forced-commutated IGBT (insulated-gate bipolar transistor) inverters, which allows the surplus braking energy of the vehicle to return to the AC mains, thus significantly decreasing the overall energy bill.

The ENVILINE ESS allows the surplus energy from a braking vehicle to be stored and the collected energy transmitted back to DC traction network when it is needed, e.g., when a train accelerates. Depending on the application, the ESS can be equipped with supercapacitors that enable short-time storage of the energy for applications that need high-power density, or batteries that allow higher energy density supporting voltage stability in the DC grid. A great advantage of the system is the lack of connection to the AC mains. On top of its main functionality, i.e., its capability to recover energy, the device can also be used as a backup power source, which enables rail traction units to reach the nearest stop in case of a power failure.

ENVILINE ESS and ERS are not only for new projects, they can also be installed in existing substations to bring the same benefits.

Visit ABB at InnoTrans 2018, the international trade fair for transport technology, which will be held on September 18-21 in Berlin, Germany to learn more about ABB’s energy-efficient products and systems for the rail segment.


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