Catenary-free induction powered tram from Bombardier
- Here's an interesting piece of new about a catenary-free tram
developed by Bombardier, a possibility that has popped up from time to
time in discussions on the list:
(Via an article on the Swedish "Ecoprofile" site: http://www.ecoprofile.se/920_1278_Induktionssparvagn_behover_ingen_luftledning.htm
-- the Swedish article contains an illustration not available in the
English article linked to. )
By the way, is the Erik Sandblom behind this story on Ecoprofile one
of the members of the Carfree Cities list?
Primove catenary-free induction tram
23 Jan 2009
GERMANY: A tram powered by Bombardier's prototype Primove induction
system was formally launched at the company's Bautzen plant on January
22. A potential rival to Alstom's APS ground-level power supply,
Primove removes the need for catenary.
Power is transferred to the vehicle by induction, as used in
transformers. The principle is used in industrial applications and
household appliances including electric toothbrushes, but Bombardier
says Primove is the first tram application.
A primary circuit is formed from power cables buried between the rails
and connected to a substation. This produces a magnetic field, which
is converted back to electrical current by a pick-up coil mounted
under the vehicle.
Cables can be laid under any surface, including concrete, tarmac or
grass, and can be fitted to an existing trackbed. The components are
not visible and are not affected by the weather, and the supply is
only energised when the cable is covered by the vehicle, ensuring safe
operation. As there is no direct contact the components are not
subject to wear.
The 250 kW continuous output of the prototype is designed to power a
typical 30 m light rail vehicle operating at 40 km/h on a 6% gradient.
Commercial applications of 100 kW to 1 000 kW are planned.
Development is being carried out using a Bombardier Flexity tram from
Halle. This has also been fitted with a roof-mounted Mitrac Energy
Saver which uses double-layer 'ultracapacitors' to store energy
regenerated during braking for re-use during acceleration. The system
has been on test in Mannheim since 2003, where energy savings of up to
30% have been claimed.
'Catenary-free operation offers an entirely new prospect, particularly
for trams operating in historic city centres where impressive
cityscapes can now exist unencumbered by visual pollution from
overhead lines', said Dr-Ing Carsten Struve, Director of Advanced
Technology Development at Bombardier Transportation.
The technology could be commercially available by 2010.
Primove was described in more detail by Gerald Newesely and Dr-Ing
Carsten Struve of Bombardier in the December 2008 issue of Metro
Related News: Ultracapacitors on test - 08-01-09 08:00 Gr�na T�get
spawns ECO4 - 01-10-08 07:00 Eddy-current braking: a long road to
success - 02-06-08 05:53 UltraCaps win out in energy storage -
01-07-06 12:00 Third-rail trams across the Garonne - 01-02-04 12:00
Bolt from the green - 01-04-02 12:00Links:
Primove catenary-free technology
More information from the Bombardier web site, with further
illustrations and links to a PDF datasheet and an explanatory WMV
PRIMOVE Catenary-Free Technology
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Catenary-free tracks for trams and light rail vehicles enhance a
city�s attractiveness by providing unobstructed views.
Bombardier�s new PRIMOVE system enables FLEXITY trams to operate
catenary-free over varying distances, everywhere, including on
Contactless Power Transfer � A World Premiere in Urban Rail Transport
The PRIMOVE system�s outstanding feature is its safe and contactless
power transfer. Its electric supply components are invisible, hidden
under the vehicle and beneath the track. This is a key benefit in
historic or environmentally protected areas of cities.
With its contactless power transfer, our unique PRIMOVEtechnology:
� Eliminates overhead wires and increases a city�s attractiveness
� Safely transfers inductive power
� Eliminates wear on parts and components
� Operates in all weather and ground conditions
Connected to MITRAC Energy Saver
The PRIMOVE system uses the MITRAC Energy Saver to ensure continuous
This high-performance solution stores energy during braking and it
constantly charges during operation, picking up power from the
underground section during catenary-free operation.
Its double layer capacitor technology optimizes energy supply and
saves energy. The end result is maximum vehicle performance and
constant inductive power levels.
Bombardier press release at
Bombardier Presents First Catenary-Free and Contactless Operating Tram
January 22, 2009 � Berlin
BOMBARDIER PRIMOVE catenary-free operation, as part of the innovative
ECO4 portfolio, improves city infrastructures
Bombardier Transportation today introduced the first completely
contactless and catenary-free operating tram. The BOMBARDIER PRIMOVE
catenary-free operation was presented to journalists on the test track
at Bombardier�s Bautzen site in Germany.
�The PRIMOVE technology is a unique system that provides complete
catenary-free operation of trams over distances of varying lengths and
in all surroundings,� said
Dr Carsten Struve, Director Advanced Technology Development Bombardier
Transportation at the system�s presentation. �The catenary-free
operation offers an entirely new prospect, particularly for trams
operating in historic city centres where impressive cityscapes can now
exist unencumbered by visual pollution from overhead lines. Combined
with the new BOMBARDIER MITRAC Energy Saver technology, the PRIMOVE
system can also save additional energy.�
Benefit to Rail Operators
For rail operators, the PRIMOVE system offers significant advantages.
Among these are the completely invisible power supply, the easy
installation and the complete irrelevance of weather conditions. In
addition, the contactless and very safe energy transfer system reduces
wear on parts, limiting equipment lifecycle costs. Thanks to the
PRIMOVE system, infrastructure costs related to tunnel sections can
also be reduced significantly. The system does not need �third rail�
or high roof systems, resulting in smaller tunnel profiles. The
system�s electrical drive operates with lower noise levels and
eliminates emissions. The integrated MITRAC Energy Saver results in
significant operating cost reductions by recharging energy.
PRIMOVE technology is one of the highlights of the innovative
BOMBARDIER ECO4 portfolio of technologies launched by the global rail
leader last year. The new portfolio offers energy and cost-efficient
solutions for total train performance through ten ready-to-use ECO4
products that are based on the four principles of energy, efficiency,
economy and ecology.
The innovative principle of the PRIMOVE system is rooted in the
principle of inductive power transfer, a technology used in cleanrooms
in the computer chip and automotive industries. With Bombardier�s
introduction of PRIMOVE, inductive power transfer comes to rail
vehicles for the first time.
How the PRIMOVE technology works
The electric power components of the PRIMOVE technology are hidden
under the vehicle and beneath the tracks. The electrical primary and
secondary circuits are separated from each other, a principle also
used in transformers. Creating a magnet field, the primary circuit is
built into the infrastructure. The secondary circuit in the vehicle
transforms this energy field into electricity for the tram�s
operation. The cable of the primary circuit can be easily integrated
in-between the tracks. The vehicle is equipped with pick-up coils
underneath the vehicle, which are connected to the tram�s traction
system through a cable. In addition, connected segments in the ground
ensure a safe operation as they are only fully energised when
completely covered by the vehicle. Therefore, the system can also be
integrated in pedestrian zones, for example.
Efficiency with MITRAC Energy Saver
An additional benefit of the system is the integration of the MITRAC
Energy Saver, which is mounted on the roof of a light rail vehicle:
The innovative capacitors of the system store the energy released each
time a vehicle brakes and re-use it during acceleration or operation.
Applied to light rail vehicles, the system has (during testing in
Mannheim since 2003) been proven to save up to 30 per cent of energy,
thus reducing emissions as well as costs. The technology can also be
used as a performance booster by adding extra power to the vehicle
during acceleration. Behind the system is a double layer capacitor
technology (also known as �ultracapacitors�), a smartly designed
storage device charged with the eletrical energy set free when the
brakes are used. The capacitors� storage cells are charged with energy
which is transformed during the breaking process.
(Additional extraneous information removed -CM)
Critical remarks on these two sites that might (or might not) lead to
further useful information if followed up on:
Some links to information on Alstom's alternative system referred to
in abovementioned comments:
(apparent advantages of Primove over Alstom APS in cold and snowy
Montreal QC Canada
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