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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering >> 2020, Volume 15, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11465-019-0571-9

Evaluation of power regeneration in primary suspension for a railway vehicle

. Institute of Railway Research, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK.. State Key Laboratory of Traction Power, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China

Accepted: 2020-02-18 Available online: 2020-02-18

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To improve the fuel economy of rail vehicles, this study presents the feasibility of using power regenerating dampers (PRDs) in the primary suspension systems of railway vehicles and evaluates the potential and recoverable power that can be obtained. PRDs are configured as hydraulic electromagnetic-based railway primary vertical dampers and evaluated in parallel and series modes (with and without a viscous damper). Hydraulic configuration converts the linear behavior of the track into a unidirectional rotation of the generator, and the electromagnetic configuration provides a controllable damping force to the primary suspension system. In several case studies, generic railway vehicle primary suspension systems that are configured to include a PRD in the two configuration modes are modeled using computer simulations. The simulations are performed on measured tracks with typical irregularities for a generic UK passenger route. The performance of the modified vehicle is evaluated with respect to key performance indicators, including regenerated power, ride comfort, and running safety. Results indicate that PRDs can simultaneously replace conventional primary vertical dampers, regenerate power, and exhibit desirable dynamic performance. A peak power efficiency of 79.87% is theoretically obtained in series mode on a top-quality German Intercity Express track (Track 270) at a vehicle speed of 160 mile/h (~257 km/h).

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