A ground-breaking collaborative research and development project on rail brake energy recovery is scheduled to commence in the second half of this year and will see Ricardo, a multi-industry consultancy for engineering, join forces with fluid power expert Artemis Intelligent Power and world-leading rail technology expert Bombardier Transportation.
The system to be researched is intended for use on diesel powered multiple units. It is conceived as a cost-effective solution that could be retrofitted to existing rolling stock as well as incorporated into new rail vehicles. To demonstrate a complete rail driveline incorporating this energy storage technology, the system will be coupled to a wheel-set supplied by Bombardier and will be tested on a dynamometer rig at Artemis's facility in Midlothian, Scotland. It is anticipated that a follow-up project will progress to installing and testing the system on an operating train.
The combined Ricardo Kinergy and Artemis Digital Displacement® system, together with Bombardier's world-leading rail equipment manufacturing and system integration expertise, will enable this groundbreaking technology to be integrated into diesel trains for the first time. Furthermore, it can be tailored to suit various operating philosophies, including alteration of the engine demand to enable it to operate closer to its optimum brake specific fuel consumption, hence saving fuel and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The system may also be configured to use stored energy to augment the peak acceleration of the vehicle and thus increase the operational flexibility of older rolling stock. Faster acceleration rates - as typified on more modern vehicles - allow for increased network capacity, hence enabling more rapid recovery from delays and minimizing consequential impacts across the network.
"While we are already evaluating the Kinergy in a commercial bus application, this project will be the first to deploy this very promising, cost-effective and efficient mechanical energy storage technology in a rail application," said Ricardo head of rail vehicle technology, Jim Buchanan. "Combined with the Artemis high efficiency hydraulic transmission technology and Bombardier's established position as a leader in rail vehicle design and construction, I believe that this project has the potential to demonstrate a highly compelling fuel saving and performance enhancing solution, equally applicable to retro-fit installation or incorporation in new rolling stock.
"We believe that the Artemis Digital Displacement® technology is ideally suited both to railway driveline applications requiring highly efficient fluid power, and to use with an advanced mechanical energy storage system such as Ricardo's Kinergy", added Artemis Intelligent Power managing director, Dr Win Rampen. "We are extremely pleased to be working on this exciting project with two world-class partners."
"As a global rail technology leader, Bombardier is continuously looking to challenge and improve the energy efficiency of its products," said Paul Roberts, Bombardier chief country representative UK & Ireland. "We are proud to announce the collaborative project with Artemis Intelligent Power and Ricardo that aims to deliver a cost-effective solution to recover and re-use energy normally lost through braking on diesel trains - an industry first. The project will enable Bombardier to further support our customers in their continuing drive to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions and help towards supporting improvements in the long term operational viability of legacy diesel fleets."
The 'Digital Displacement Rail Transmission with Flywheel Energy Storage' project is a partnership between Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd, Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd, and Ricardo UK Ltd, with co-funding from the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board.
Top image: nScale