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Unplugged substation

por Julian

Since 2016, RET uses the EFS (Energy Flow Simulation) tool from company KRUCH to simulate the electrical flow through its different Tram and Metro networks. The motivation for owning an electrical simulator in-house is strategic, it reduces decision times, it allows the analysis of a multitude of scenarios, and it prepares the organisation to respond to current challenges: increasing passenger demand, rising operating costs (energy, materials, labour), bottlenecks in the electricity supply and an energy transition that forces a reduction in energy consumption.

To respond to all these challenges, having a simulation tool is crucial. RET can within 24 hours have a simulation of: changes in the exploitation, a calamity, a network extension, or an energy optimization. This is a world away from the traditional way of working.

RET simulated how an energy battery bank can improve energy supply when demand in the tram network is very high and N-1 scenario occurs. The battery bank is more cost-effective than a substation and allows the storage of the braking energy. The energy will feed accelerating trams or even be able to power an electric vehicle charging point. RET used EFS to test different control strategies and size the capacity.

After the simulations showed satisfactory results, RET started to build the first battery, which it is expected to be commissioned in December 2024). If it proves itself in the following years, it will be used in other locations in the Tram or even in the Metro network.

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