New for 2013, the Railtex Awards have been introduced to recognise excellence within the railway industry. ABB’s award in the Electrification category was presented by former England cricketer Phil Tufnell and BBC Radio presenter Garry Richardson at a ceremony held on May 1 at London’s Copthorne Tara Hotel.
In giving this award, the judges recognised ABB’s innovative solution to the growing demand for energy recovery in traction infrastructure. Currently, rail vehicles regenerate their braking energy into electrical energy. Most of the time, a small portion of this kinetic energy is used to power on-board loads, while the remaining energy is sent back to the network and reused - if a nearby vehicle is accelerating. If this is not possible, the network voltage increases due to the excess energy and the surplus must be dissipated into wayside or on-board resistors – which can contribute significantly to tunnel heating.
ABB’s ERS has been developed to allow the energy flow from the DC traction grid back to the alternating current (AC) grid. This new approach to managing surplus braking energy can reduce the overall energy consumption by as much as 10-30 percent, yet without the need to invest in new rolling stock or network control systems.
David Hughes, Head of ABB Power Products Division UK, said “We are delighted to be one of the first winners of a Railtex award. Our success in the Electrification category is an important recognition of the very significant contribution that we believe the Energy Recuperation System can make to boosting the energy efficiency of DC traction systems. It also sets the seal on what has been a very successful exhibition for ABB all-round.”