In the series of Railenergy workshops, UIC achieved to set a highlight with the 5th Railenergy workshop “EE Traction” in Nuremberg on May 6th, 2009. This workshop was jointly organised by UIC, UNIFE and Siemens and hosted at the Deutsche Bahn Museum. 45 participants, mostly representing UIC and UNIFE members, attended this event starting with a gala dinner on the eve of the workshop. The museum was very inspiring for the workshop’s participants as it shows 170 years of railway history in Germany on the one hand, but even more, 170 years of close cooperation between railway operators and manufactures on the other hand.
This workshop’s intention was to provide an overview about the devices developed and tested in Railenergy’s subproject 5 “NRG Traction” like superconducting transformers and medium frequency distribution and to discuss a possible implementation strategy.
Micaela Magro from the University of Genoa presented “Energy Efficiency Integration through Modelling” comprising a modelling methodology, models for existing traction systems, models for innovative components (STTS, MFDS) and the behaviour of innovative traction systems. Railenergy as a project falls into two parts: the theoretical approach, the development of modelling tools and the simulation phase. The tools are now developed and the framework for the simulation set. The first results of the simulation phase are expected by the end of the year.
Olaf Koerner from Siemens got all the participants’ attention with presenting the latest developments about Hybrid Diesel Electric Propulsion. The Hybrid technology is, according to the PTR Strategy Programme 2020, one of the top PTR Research and Development (R&D) priorities for the upcoming years. Especially UIC members expressed their need for more particular work on this field.
An overview about Medium Frequency Power Supply was given by Jan Weigel form Siemens. The Medium Frequency technology promises energy efficiency increase by 3 - 4%. A sufficient availability is achieved by suitable chosen redundancy.
Beniamino Cascone presented an innovative cooling system for DMU applications. The idea is to realize a power pack having a centralized cooling system for all the power electrical equipments (traction and auxiliary converters) By using external pipes the engine and generator can be cooled by the same cooling system. That solution can be used both for regional and IC long distance applications.
Finally Günter Ries presented the advantages and disadvantages of the superconducting transformer like on the one hand reduced winding loss, 30 - 40% less weight, 20 - 50% less volume, less environmental impact, oil free, no fire hazard and no aging of cold insulation but on the other hand a need for cooling by liquid nitrogen at ≤-196 °C (≤77 K), the double walled, vacuum isolated cryostat („Thermo flask“) and cooling by cryogenic cooler.
In the Joint Working Groups all participants had the opportunity to go into the details of the presented technologies and assessed the advantages and disadvantages. Especially the Railway Undertakings gave an insight view for the manufactures about the operational framework and requirements in daily railway business. In a common discussion an implementation strategy was discussed. It was amazing to see how open and ambitious the participants contributed to the discussions!
The results of the workshop gave a clear overview about the devices developed by the manufactures and the specific needs of the railway operators. These two positions are now to be taken into account and to be balanced in the further work in the Railenergy project. UIC succeeded to develop and maintain a unique platform within the Railenergy project allowing our members and the representatives of the manufactures to discuss comprehensively about current and future R&D activities, energy saving potentials and specific railway requirements.