Kochi

In a first, Kochi metro to make the most out of brakes

Reversible sub-stations ensure that the energy produced through braking is fed back into the grid for further saving of power.

Reversible sub-stations ensure that the energy produced through braking is fed back into the grid for further saving of power.  

KMRL to float tenders to set up ‘reversible sub-stations’ at all stations

Aimed at preventing wastage of heat energy produced during the braking of metro trains, Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) will float tenders to set up ‘reversible sub-stations’ at all stations.

The six trains that are expected to commence operations from June 18, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the metro, are equipped with regenerative-braking technology. “The system ensures that the braking energy of a train running in front is converted to electrical power that is lapped up by trains running behind. In this, instead of the brake shoe pressing the wheels, a motor works to generate electrical power from the heat produced during braking. Subsequent trains within 2-km radius can consume the power,” metro sources said.

The energy thus generated will be used to power AC and lights in trains. Often, electrical energy in excess of what is required for trains that follow is generated when five or all the six trains stop at stations simultaneously.

Reversible sub-stations ensure that the energy is fed back into the grid for further saving of power. The regenerative braking technology currently available in trains does not feed back excess power into the grid.

“We hope to short-list a firm in two months, following which the new equipment for the sub-stations will be installed. This will ensure power flow in either direction, feeding excess power into the grid,” metro sources said.

Unlike in the railway system where trains do not have to stop frequently, metro rail systems generate more braking power since stations are located within a kilometre of each other.

In Kochi metro, trains touch a speed of up to 75 km per hour. They have to stop at stations located a kilometre apart, which means frequent sudden deceleration, the sources said.

Metro trains also accelerate fast, to cover maximum distance within the shortest time, according to a senior metro official.

Kochi metro trains will be the first in India to have reversible sub stations, which save considerable amount of energy, according to Bharat Salhotra, managing director, Alstom (India and South Asia), the manufacturers of Kochi Metro trains. “It [Kochi metro] has already adopted the communication-based train control (CBTC) system, another first in the country,” he said.

Defect liability period

On trial runs, Mr. Salhotra said all the nine trains that had been handed over to KMRL had together covered 70,000 km during trial runs and service trials. “Alstom will address defects, if any, in the trains and the 16 more that are awaited, for a period of two years,” he added.

Each train has been built to last 30 to 35 years, Mr. Salhotra said.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 10:54:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/in-a-first-kochi-metro-to-make-the-most-out-of-brakes/article18959485.ece

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