EMPIR project develops new method that will save energy on railway lines


Improved energy and power quality measurements will enable smart, energy efficient management of railway networks

The project

In order to meet the ambitious EU target of reducing CO2 emissions from rail transport by 50% by 2030, efficient use of energy across Europe's railway system is mandatory. This requires accurate and reliable knowledge of the energy exchanged between the train and the railway grid, and real-time power quality.

Completed EMPIR project Metrology for smart energy management in electric railway systems (16ENG04, MyRailS) developed the infrastructure needed for accurate measurement of energy exchange and power quality, under the highly dynamic conditions experienced in transit. The project also focussed on the characterisation of the railway subsystem as a producer-consumer, able to transfer excess energy, with a view to its integration in a wider smart grid.

New methodology

The work of this project demonstrates that the monitoring of the electric quantities in the railway system is fundamental to supporting the sustainability of this means of transport. A methodology for arc event detection using the transducers already installed on-board train was developed. After measurement along the Rimini – Bologna route (120 km) the project consortium estimated that the energy wasted by the braking rheostat of 15 trains per day, with a mass of 316 Mg in about 1 GWh, corresponds to the annual consumption of about 365 families.

The results of this project will underpin the energy efficient management of Europe's railway networks and allow upcoming EU legislation concerning railway energy management to be met.

In addition, the project consortium produced an impressive set of accessible dissemination materials describing the work of the project.

Project dissemination

The research project MyRailS: three years in three minutes

Treni più ecologici con MyRailS

Project Coordinator Domenico Giordano from INRIM said

‘I am enthusiastic about the results obtained by the MyRailS project, the new metrological services for the calibration of energy meters respond to the needs of manufacturers called to demonstrate the metrological capabilities of these devices from third parties. Moreover, the large amount of data collected in field are of interest for the scientific community devoted to the study of energy flow in the railway and metro systems.’

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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