The Anonymous Widower

Other Train, Tram And Tram-Train Manufacturers And IPEMUs

The Aventra IPEMU is a Bombardier product, but I can’t see anything about using batteries in a train being patentable.

In the future we will see a range of energy storage devices based on all sorts of technology for transport applications. Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems describes the technology in Wikipedia

To deliver energy saving in transport, they need to be installed with regenerative braking and some clever control systems.

They are best generally described as kinetic energy recovery systems or KERS.

Applications will include.

  • Passenger Cars  – A sexy image would sell top-of-the-range hybrid and electric cars.
  • Buses – Hybrid and electric buses in cities are the way forward and they’ll need intelligent energy storage.
  • Trucks, Vans and other Commercial Vehicles – Why not, if it makes them more attractive to operators and makes vehicles more environmentally friendly?
  • Trams, Trains and Tram-Trains – The Aventra IPEMU is just the first.

Looking at KERS in motor sport and Formula One in particular, in Wikipedia, there are several ideas, some of which are based on batteries and others on mechanical systems like flywheels.

As buses, trams, trains and tram-trains tend to be large vehicles with plenty of available space, where quite a large KERS can be tucked away, it is probably not the demanding weight-sensitive application of say motor sport or passenger cars.

So I don’t see any reason why a train or bus manufacturer like Alstom, Hitachi, Siemens or Wrightbus will not fit KERS.

Wrightbus are mentioned in this press release from Torotrak entitled FUEL SAVING KINETIC RECOVERY SYSTEM PROJECT READY FOR NEXT PHASE. This is the first paragraph.

Wrightbus have confirmed that an innovative Kinetic Recovery System (KERS) project, developed in a collaborative partnership and partially funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, is in full service trials with project partner Arriva.

Overall, this project looks very like the partnership that created the IPEMU demonstrator to prove the technology for trains, as it involves a bus manufacturer, a couple of technology or engineering companies, a transport operator and funding from the Government.

Incidentally, Torotrak is a British company with links to BAe Systems.

According to the press release the prototype bus is in service in Gillingham in Kent.

I can’t believe that the other train manufacturers are not looking seriously at KERS.

It is interesting to look at this article from Bus and Coach, which describes the Wrightbus project.

It is complicated mechanical setup, compared to installing KERS in an all-electric tram, train or tram-train, where it is a matter of designing an intelligent control system to link.

  • Overhead electric supply at 25 kVAC or 750 VDC
  • Third rail supply at 750 VDC
  • Traction motors
  • KERS
  • On-board electrical systems like air-con, lights and passenger displays

The control system would balance the sources and needs according to route and load.

I think that any train manufacturer that doesn’t offer KERS  as standard on a train or tram will be an also-ran!




September 29, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,

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