Development of recuperation

Recuperation is the recovery of energy during braking of a rail vehicle with electric or hybrid drive. During this process, the electric motor of the train acts as a generator – it converts part of the braking energy into electricity. The energy recovered this way can later be used in various ways:
  • It can be used for the non-catenary needs of the vehicle, such as lighting, heating, air conditioning, etc.,
  • It can be stored and used later, at times of increased demand,
  • It can be sent back to the national power grid,
  • It can be sent back to the catenary and immediately used by another vehicle that has increased demand for electricity (e.g., it needs to accelerate).
Each of these ways of managing recuperated energy requires a separate technological solution. Each of them also has a number of advantages, which make it possible to increase the energy efficiency of railways in particular operating conditions.
During CEEK workshops, we developed the following requirements:
  • Maintaining the current method of accounting for recuperation, which essentially treats recuperated (recovered) energy as a return of energy previously taken from the catenary.
  • The implementation of training courses for engine drivers on the optimal use of rolling stock in eco-driving.
  • Development and launch of support programs for investments associated with the implementation and development of recuperation and the qualification of these investment activities as projects aimed at improving energy efficiency.
The implementation of the suggested requirements is one of the conditions to be able to save 600 GWh and reduce CO2 emissions by 480,000 tonnes in 10 years. It is also necessary to implement consistent metering systems of existing rolling stock, to purchase locomotives adapted to the new infrastructure and to modernize existing resources.
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