Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Catenary-free induction powered tram from Bombardier

Expand Messages
  • Christopher Miller
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 29, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      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
      Report International

      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
      video, at

      PRIMOVE Catenary-Free Technology

      Low Resolution 118 KBHigh Resolution 1.2 MB

      Low Resolution 141 KBHigh Resolution 1.8 MB

      Low Resolution 117 KBHigh Resolution 1.4 MB

      Low Resolution 137 KBHigh Resolution 1.7 MB
      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
      underground lines.
      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
      vehicle operation.
      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


      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.