Hybrid locomotive

Hybrid Locomotive is a locomotive or multiple unit train that uses an on-board rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) (battery or ultracapacitors) and a fueled power source for propulsion.

Hybrid trains typically are powered either by fuel cell technology or the more conventional diesel-electric hybrid which reduces fuel consumption through regenerative braking and switching off the hydrocarbon engine when idling or stationary (as used in automobiles such as the Toyota Prius).

Energy used by train operations makes up approximately 70% of all energy consumed by railroad companies, so reduction of this not only provides environmental benefits but economic advantages as well. [ [http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/development/tech/pdf_4/Tech-no.4-62-70.pdf Technical Review NO.04(E ] ]

Examples in use or under development

Kennecott Copper 700-series

In 1928, Kennecott Copper ordered four 85-ton electric locomotives with on-board batteries. These locomotives operated on 750 volt overhead trolley wire, but had considerable range on batteries. [ [http://utahrails.net/bingham/kcc-diesel-elec-loco.php#700-elec List of Kennecott Copper locomotives] ] The locomotives provided decades of service with Edison batteries, then were switched to lead-acid batteries, and shortly thereafter retired. Three of the four locomotives were donated to museums in Boone, Iowa, and Snoqualmie, Washington, and Rio Vista, California.

ČKD DA 600

In 1986, Czechoslovak locomotive manufacturer ČKD built a prototype hybrid shunting locomotive termed the DA 600. The locomotive was powered a 190-kW diesel engine and four electric motors, with a maximum overall power 360 kW powered from batteries. The batteries were recharged while the diesel engine was running, by regenerative braking or from electric plug. [ [http://www.prototypy.cz/718/718.htm øada 718 ] ]

After tests on the Railway test circuit Velim and some minor tweaks, the locomotive was lent to Olomouc train depot and successfully operated there for ten years. Czechoslavak socialist economics failed to start mass production, mainly because of lack proper battery manufacturing capacities. [ [http://www.zelpage.cz/zpravy/5014 V Japonsku se bude jezdit hybridním vlakem - ŽelPage [www.zelpage.cz ] ]

JR fuel cell train

In May 2003 JR East started test runs with the so called NE (new energy) train and validated the system's operability (series hybrid with lithium-ion battery) in cold regions.

With two 65-kilowatt fuel cells and six hydrogen tanks under the floor and a battery on the roof. It is capable of 100km/h (60mph) with a range of between 50 and 100 km (30 and 60 miles) without needing to be refilled.

Research is underway into the use of regenerative braking to recharge the train's batteries with the energy used to stop the train which will increase range further. JR hopes to introduce the train to scheduled local service in the summer of 2007. [ [http://www.pinktentacle.com/2006/10/jr-tests-fuel-cell-hybrid-train/ JR tests fuel cell hybrid train ::: Pink Tentacle ] ]

Railpower diesel-electric hybrid shunting locomotive

In 2004, Railpower Technologies had been running pilots in the US with the so called Green Goats which led to orders by the Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific Railways starting in early 2005

The diesel-electric hybrid trains are expected to cut emissions by up to 90-percent and decrease fuel consumption by up to 60-percent as compared to conventional diesel-powered locomotives. The Green Goats will be used in rail yards for marshalling trains. [http://www.wired.com/news/planet/0,2782,66998,00.htm] [ [http://www8.cpr.ca/cms/English/Media/News/General/2005/Hybrid+locomotives.htm Canadian Pacific Railway to acquire first hybrid locomotives ] ] [ [http://www.uprr.com/newsinfo/railroad/2005/0406_hybrid.shtml UP: Union Pacific Bases First Hybrid Locomotive in California ] ]

European development

In 2007, trials of a new hybrid high speed train are scheduled to start in the UK. The system will use a battery-assisted diesel-electric power system which it is hoped will cut emissions by up to 50% and reduce fuel costs by 20%. [ [http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,1923155,00.html The next train will be eco-friendly | Environment | The Guardian ] ]

General Electric Hybrid Locomotive

GE put their hybrid locomotive [ [http://ge.ecomagination.com/site/index.html#hybr GE Ecomagination ] ] on display at Union Station in Los Angeles. The locomotive uses regenerative braking and a bank of high-capacity batteries that GE is building itself to achieve its fuel savings and higher emissions standards than ordinary locomotives. It is expected to be the successor to GE's current line of Evolution locomotives, themselves already some of the most efficient diesel locomotives in production. [ [http://www.bnsf.com/employees/communications/bnsf_today/2007/05/2007-05-31-c.html GE Unveils First Hybrid Road Locomotive ] ] as of May 2007.

See also

* Hybrid
* List of hybrid vehicles
* Railpower Technologies
* Renewable energy
* Steam diesel hybrid locomotive


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