Quantitative Estimation of Railway Vehicle Regenerative Energy Saving: “A Case of Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit (AALRT)”
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A rapidly growing demand and shortage of electric energy require mankind to efficiently use it, recuperate and store it from the existing system, when possible, for further applications whenever the need arises. Electric trains figure among big energy consumers and among different railway transportation services; light rail transit trains are characterized by frequent stoppings to entrain and detrain passengers. In their operation, traction drives are made to keep on braking in order to meet their service requirements between closely spaced passenger stations. The modern service braking system used is regenerative braking, which acts as an electric energy generator during the braking period. The objective of this paper is to estimate the magnitude of regenerative energy that can be recuperated as a percentage of train energy consumption on East-West (Ayat to Tolhailoch) and West-East (Tolhailoch-Ayat) directions of Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit. Mathematical equations have been used to calculate the energy consumed between stations followed by the quantification of regenerative energy at each passenger station. Considering the current average running speed (24km/h) of the line, it resulted that 26.31% and 28.18% of energy consumption for East-West and West-East directions respectively are saved through regenerative braking energy recuperation. From the above results, it was observed that the magnitude of regenerative energy strongly depends on the speed at which the train is running and the efficiencies of inverter and traction induction motor.
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