Rail service improvements and disruptions

31.01.20

Digital Displacement project on track to reduce rail emissions

Source: RTM Dec/Jan

 

With challenging targets to radically reduce railway CO2 emissions, Artemis Intelligent Power is looking at the potential of Digital Displacement® hydraulics as a novel route to lower emissions for freight locomotives, shunters and on-track plant.

The UK rail industry is committed to the UK Government’s goal of reaching net carbon zero by 2050 – however, the route to getting there is not easy.

Whist low carbon electricity offers an obvious solution, the electrification of GB’s entire rail network is challenging, whilst other fuel solutions such as green hydrogen are not yet market ready.

One Edinburgh company – Artemis Intelligent Power – has taken a different approach. Rather than looking at the energy source, they have developed a Digital Displacement® hydraulic technology which they claim can radically improve system efficiency wherever it is used – and thereby reduce energy use (and, with it, CO2).

They are now working closely with the University of Huddersfield and Direct Rail Services to undertake a project funded by the RSSB as part of the Intelligent Power Solutions research competition launched in October 2018.

The project – Digital Displacement for Non-Passenger Rail – is examining the possibilities provided by Digital Displacement technology as a more efficient alternative to conventional hydraulic pumps for providing traction and auxiliary power for freight locomotives, shunters and on-track plant. 

The team is currently working on three work packages:

  • Specify the Digital Displacement pump hydrostatic cooling system for a large locomotive
  • Pursue pump swap opportunities for road-rail and track maintenance vehicles
  • Develop a modular drive system concept for small locomotives and track maintenance vehicles

According to Artemis’s project lead Gordon Voller, the project is going well.

“So far we have seen some very positive results for all three work packages. We found that the DDP096 pump, which is our first commercial product (available from Danfoss Power Solutions), is a good fit for many of these applications.

“Initial calculations show that the large locomotive hydrostatic cooling system can be made significantly more efficient, providing CO2 reduction and fuel savings with a simple pump swap. For on track plant, almost all of these already use hydraulic systems, making this an ideal application area for Digital Displacement,” Gordon says.

This project is not the first time Artemis has been involved in rail. In 2018 the Edinburgh specialists completed a project with ScotRail to demonstrate using a Digital Displacement pump to replace the conventional pump powering the hotel loads in a Class 170 DMU. The successful trial of 3500 hours on an operating train indicated a fuel saving of 6.7 percent.

Gordon believes the technology could have much wider applications in rail.

“If fully integrated, Digital Displacement pumps and motors can be combined to create a hydrostatic transmission suitable for on-track machines.  It would be particularly appropriate where vehicles have both transport and working modes – each at extreme ends of the speed range.  It can also be used in small shunting locomotives. Hydraulic accumulators can be added to provide energy storage for power smoothing or braking energy capture, with significant performance and efficiency benefits.” Gordon concludes.

Commenting on the project, Giulia Lorenzini, Senior Grants and Partnerships Manager, RSSB, said:

“The railway remains a very low carbon form of transport for both passengers and freight. Freight, in particular, has journey characteristics which demand very high energy and power requirements, high acceleration and long periods between refuelling. Our research has shown that there are no suitable alternatives to electric and diesel traction currently available for these journey types. Therefore, the Digital Displacement technology is a valuable transitional arrangement for rail freight, where it could be applicable to small locomotives, track maintenance vehicles and large locomotives to help reduce CO2 emissions.”

The consortium will issue their final results later in 2020.

 

Photo: Artemis

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

TransPennine Express receives ‘public target’ from Transport for the North

13/02/2020TransPennine Express receives ‘public target’ from Transport for the North

Agreed by Transport for the North leaders in back in January, the ‘public target’ follows a period at the en... more >
Network Rail install new Dawlish sea wall

13/02/2020Network Rail install new Dawlish sea wall

Network Rail’s plan to protect the vital rail line to the south west from rising sea levels and extreme weather ha... more >
Network Rail awards five-year term to Jacobs for Design Services

12/02/2020Network Rail awards five-year term to Jacobs for Design Services

Network Rail has awarded places on four Lots to Jacobs for their prestigious Design Services Framework (DSF), to deliver... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to innovate and maximise efficiency in all aspects of its work. Data is just one such way of achievi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >