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Author Topic: Independently Powered EMU to be tested  (Read 27732 times)
stuving
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« on: August 19, 2014, 07:48:17 pm »

This was originally posted in the IEP (Intercity Express Program / Project.) thread here, but I think it really deserves its own.

Network rail have now started testing of their experimental train, powered by lithium iron magnesium phosphate batteries, on the Derby test track as they report here.

Quote
On-track trials of prototype battery-powered train begin
12 August 2014
Britain^s first battery-powered train is being put through its paces in a series of on-track trials ^ a move which could ultimately lead to a fleet of battery-powered trains running on Britain^s rail network which are quieter and more efficient than diesel-powered trains, making them better for passengers and the environment.

We've successfully completed the retrofitting of our first battery-powered train with six battery rafts and have now embarked upon a programme of trials at a test track in Derby using an Abellio Greater Anglia Class 379 unit which normally operates using electricity drawn from overhead power lines. The tests will culminate with a series of high-speed tests at the Rail Innovation and Development Centre in Nottinghamshire later this year.

The battery rafts fitted to the Class 379 unit contain a battery box, isolation switch, power distribution control panel, battery charging inverter, batteries and battery monitoring system, all mounted within a bespoke, purpose-built rig. Their creation follows the successful testing of several types of battery technologies, including lithium iron magnesium and hot sodium nickel salt.

Additional battery tests are now underway at the Bombardier Mannheim facility in Germany.

Cost effective and sustainable
Although the project is in its very early stages, we and our partners believe battery-powered trains could be used to bridge gaps in otherwise electrified parts of the network or be used on branch lines where it would not be cost effective to install overhead electrification equipment, bringing the additional benefits of making the new trains cost-effective and sustainable.

^Although we^ve retrofitted the Abellio Greater Anglia Class 379 unit with lithium iron magnesium batteries, we continue to test other possible solutions so we can gather as much information and comparison data as possible for future development.^
James Ambrose, senior engineer, Network Rail


Independently powered electric multiple unit

Data gathered during the experiment will be used to determine what form an independently powered electric multiple unit will take, be it a straight battery unit or hybrid.

Any future independently powered electric multiple would most likely be designed as a new train and not an adapted unit to minimise energy consumption, but this project will also provide useful information for retrofit.

Industry partners
Our industry partners include:

Bombardier
Abellio Greater Anglia
FutureRailway
Department for Transport who are co-funding

There are further reports from Railway Gazette and from the battery makers, Valence of Austin, Texas.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 08:06:33 pm by stuving » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 08:04:32 pm »


Network rail have now started testing of their experimental train, powered by lithium iron magnesium phosphate batteries, on the Derby test track as they report here.

Quote
On-track trials of prototype battery-powered train begin
12 August 2014
Britain^s first battery-powered train is being put through its paces in a series of on-track trials ^ a move which could ultimately lead to a fleet of battery-powered trains running on Britain^s rail network which are quieter and more efficient than diesel-powered trains, making them better for passengers and the environment.

We've successfully completed the retrofitting of our first battery-powered train with six battery rafts and have now embarked upon a programme of trials at a test track in Derby ...


Eh?  My bolding.

There has been a battery powered train before in Britain, and it's even preserved.   Plenty of links available.

http://web.archive.org/web/20101008041932/http://railcar.co.uk/hisOthers/BMUintro.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_BEMU
http://preserved.railcar.co.uk/79998.html
http://preserved.railcar.co.uk/79999.html

The new unit is being tested at Derby.   Guess where the previous one was built ... that's right ... DERBY!

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stuving
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2014, 08:16:11 pm »

Come now - do you expect Network Rails's PR (Public Relations) department to know stuff like that?

I well remember the Deeside train - all of this we covered after the original news item.

The Railway Gazette is more factual, and I like the picture of a big green battery (there are others too):
Quote
Battery EMU (Electric Multiple Unit) test running begins in Derby
12 Aug 2014

UK (United Kingdom): An electric multiple-unit which has been retrofitted with lithium iron magnesium phosphate battery packs is now undergoing trials on the test track at Bombardier Transportation^s Derby plant. A series of fast runs is to be undertaken later this year at Network Rail^s Rail Innovation & Development Centre on the High Marnham branch.

The Independently-Powered Electric Multiple-Unit project is being undertaken by infrastructure manager Network Rail, rolling stock manufacturer Bombardier, train operator Abellio Greater Anglia, technology partnership FutureRailway and the Department for Transport.

The partners hope that battery IPEMUs (Independely Powered Electic Multiple Unit (train running on batteries)) could be used to bridge gaps in otherwise electrified parts of the network, and be deployed on branch lines where it would not be cost effective to install overhead electrification equipment.

Bombardier^s Derby plant has installed six battery rafts on the four-car Class 379 25 kV 50 Hz EMU, which was originally built in Derby. The rafts contain a battery box, Valence Technology batteries, isolation switch, power distribution control panel, battery charging inverter and monitors.

The batteries were selected following static testing of several types, including hot sodium nickel salt. Additional battery tests are now underway at Bombardier^s site at Mannheim in Germany.

^Although we^ve retrofitted the Abellio Greater Anglia Class 379 unit with lithium iron magnesium batteries, we continue to test other possible solutions so we can gather as much information and comparison data as possible for future development^, said James Ambrose, Network Rail^s senior engineer for the IPEMU project.

Data from the trials will be used to determine whether any future new-build IPEMUs should be battery or overhead-battery hybrid units. According to Ambrose, ^it is still early days for what is an exciting and experimental project^.
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stebbo
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 03:23:33 pm »

And will this really be environmentally friendly - how much to scrap all those batteries at end of life? Just like hybrid cars aren't really that environmentally friendly.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2014, 04:09:24 pm »

And will this really be environmentally friendly - how much to scrap all those batteries at end of life? Just like hybrid cars aren't really that environmentally friendly.

Quote
Battery recyclers claim that if a steady stream of batteries, sorted by chemistry, were available at no charge, recycling would be profitable.
Source: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/recycling_batteries
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stuving
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2015, 10:19:52 pm »

A news release from Network Rail:

Quote
Batteries included: Prototype battery-powered train carries passengers for first time

Tuesday 13 Jan 2015
National

The first battery-powered train to run on Britain^s rail network in more than half a century carries its first passengers this week. This marks an important milestone in the project to demonstrate the viability of an eco-friendly battery-powered train for the twenty-first century.

The new train contributes to Network Rail^s commitment to reduce its environmental impact, improve sustainability and reduce the cost of running the railway by 20 per cent over the next five years. It could ultimately lead to a fleet of battery-powered trains running on Britain^s rail network which are quieter and more efficient than diesel-powered trains, making them better for passengers and the environment.

Network Rail and its industry partners ^ including Bombardier, Abellio Greater Anglia, and the Rail Executive arm of the Department for Transport (‎which is co-funding the project through the FutureRailway innovation programme) ^ recognise the potential for battery-powered trains to bridge gaps between electrified parts of the network and to run on branch lines where it would be too expensive to install overhead electrification.^

Following its successful retrofitting and trials at test tracks in Derby and Leicestershire last year by Bombardier, the modified Class 379 Electrostar battery-powered train ^ also known as an Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit (IPEMU (Independely Powered Electic Multiple Unit (train running on batteries))) ^ will run in weekday timetable service for five weeks between Harwich International and Manningtree stations in Essex.

Network Rail Principal Engineer James Ambrose said: ^We^ve made terrific progress with this project so far and seeing the battery-powered train in timetabled service is a huge step forward.

^After months of engineering and testing, the train is running just as we would like it. We^ll be using this five-week period to gather data on how it handles during passenger service ^ most travellers will recognise how quiet and smooth the ride is compared to a diesel-powered train.^

James continued: ^We are always looking for ways to reduce the cost of running the railway and make it greener too. This project has the potential to contribute significantly towards both those goals.^

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: ^This is a major milestone in this innovative project, and further proof of our commitment to deliver a world-class rail network fit for the 21st century.

^These trains potentially offer a real alternative where diesel or electrified services aren^t suitable, and I look forward to seeing the results of the trials.^

More pictures, videos, etc. via the link above.
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2015, 07:28:30 am »

Quote

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: ^This is a major milestone in this innovative project, and further proof of our commitment to deliver a world-class rail network fit for the 21st century.

^These trains potentially offer a real alternative where diesel or electrified services aren^t suitable, and I look forward to seeing the results of the trials."

The technology may make sense for Claire Perry's own constituency service from Paddington to Bedwyn, though I would imagine that being transport minister is something of  double-edged sword it terms of making that happen as she could easily be accused of favouring her own area.   I also wonder what the TOCs (Train Operating Company) would make of needing to have divided elements in their electric fleet as "extension capable " and not.   The nature of the beast is that it's running overhead electric 90% of the time and on battery 10% which kinda says you'll need quite a number of the units, even if there's just one or two on the battery powered section at any one time.
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2015, 08:51:20 am »

running overhead electric 90% of the time and on battery 10% which kinda says you'll need quite a number of the units, even if there's just one or two on the battery powered section at any one time.
From one point of view you might actually want that, because it gives a good length of time to charge the batteries.
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eightf48544
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2015, 10:25:08 am »

Isn't it a bit like the IEP (Intercity Express Program / Project.) bi modes, it seems like a good idea but when you look at it properly it's not so good.

Agreed it's good to have a train that can serve the 10% of the journey off the wires but at the expense of lugging the batteries/diesel engine around.

In the lifetime of the unit 30 years it must be cheaper to run the wires over the 10% and dispense with the batteries/engines control gear etc. and all that additional maintenance.

It's been recognised between Oxenhope and Windemere.

As an interim solution though battery is obviously prefferable to diesel. 
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2015, 11:36:12 am »

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: ^......These trains potentially offer a real alternative where diesel or electrified services aren^t suitable......^

Forgive me for being pedantic, but what other power is currently in use on regular timetabled operations at this moment in time?  Is she saying that these units will replace steam locomotives Grin?

On a serious note, though, these would be ideally suited to routes such as Waterloo to Exeter if they could take power from any or all of third rail, overhead and battery (although not at the same time of course).
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grahame
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2015, 12:38:12 pm »

running overhead electric 90% of the time and on battery 10% which kinda says you'll need quite a number of the units, even if there's just one or two on the battery powered section at any one time.
From one point of view you might actually want that, because it gives a good length of time to charge the batteries.

I completely agree; the Harwich experiment is just that - on a line that's fully electrified.  A branch that has no electrification is a poor candidate too as the train has to stop and charge (layover charges?) unless the trains carry on on the main line for a significant distance.
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2015, 08:33:50 am »

Forgive the ignorance of someone who knows diddly squat about the inner workings of a train, but is it not possible to have them running as duel fuel engines? 
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 10:21:46 am »

Forgive the ignorance of someone who knows diddly squat about the inner workings of a train, but is it not possible to have them running as duel fuel engines? 
Dual-fuel meaning like a hybrid car, running on batteries some of the time and petrol/diesel at others? If so, it has been done in 'Project Hayabusa'. A class 43 (IC125) locomotive and a mrk3 TGS coach were modified according to this page. Apparently Project Hayabusa was abandoned in September 2008.
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2015, 12:14:12 pm »

Is the reason for using Lithium Iron Magnesium Phosphate batteries so that it can LIMP home?
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Tim
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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2015, 04:57:18 pm »

Agreed it's good to have a train that can serve the 10% of the journey off the wires but at the expense of lugging the batteries/diesel engine around.


It depends on how heavy the batteries are, how expensive they are and how easily they can be removed when route electrification is removed.   

This might be a good idea, but I suspect only on specific routes where the conditions are right, not as a general solution or alternative to electrification.

I also note that the oil price is expected to remain low for the next few years which give a bit more breathing space for electrification. 

On the other hand battery power might still have the edge over diesel given that existing DMUs (Diesel Multiple Unit) have become less attractive given their increasing age and non-compliance with anticipated disability regs and new DMUs are going to be expensive given the combination of new emission regs and our small loading gauge. 
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