Caf Turnkey & Engineering has developed a new simulation tool which enables the dimensioning of the integral railway traction network.
The traditional concept of DC traction systems for light rail applications was based in a quite simple DC system fed by AC/DC non-controlled diode rectifier substations connected to the AC distribution network.
Low energy efficiency and controllability were not a problem. However, with the massive implementation of regenerative braking technologies in light trains and trams, the development of an effective way to manage the recovered energy became an important issue.
The regenerated power injected in the system by a train in braking mode could only be used only in the case that other nearby train was in traction mode. Otherwise, the regenerated power was dissipated in the DC traction system or in the rheostatic braking equipment as well as the potential for increasing the overall System energy efficiency. The need of new solutions for using the regenerated energy and increasing the energy efficiency of the system was the driver of new technological developments.
There are two fundamental technologies included in these solutions; the return to the network of the surplus of energy, or its accumulation of.
The return of the excess of energy to the grid is made by means of reversible or bidirectional substations, capable of feeding the railway operation, and returning the remaining energy produced by the regenerative braking of the trains.
The accumulation of generated energy can be either installed on the rolling stock or installed in the railway infrastructure.
For the assessment of the most optimal energy recovery solution, CAF Turnkey & Engineering has developed a dedicated simulation tool which enables the dimensioning of the integral railway traction network, capable of simulating different scenarios and taking measures in all of them
For further information, read the article “Energy is on board”, published in IEEE electrification Magazine in September 2016 (Vol. 4 Number 3).