Queensland Rail purchases power supply performance tool
Australian railway simulation software reseller, Plateway, has entered into an agreement to supply Queensland Rail with a power supply performance tool.
Queensland Rail controls some 400 route kilometres of electrified track in the Brisbane suburban area and were seeking software that would simulate the traction power supply required to successfully operate their existing and proposed timetables.
According to Plateway managing director Phillip Imrie, the technical task of simulating the traction power supply performance is a difficult challenge as a result of the large number of variables impacting the operation of the railway power supply system.
“These variables include differences in power requirements of individual trains, train driving styles, train position on the network, as well as the switching configuration and physical parameters of the overhead traction system,” Imrie said.
Plateway and Queensland Rail undertook extensive trials in developing a proof of concept for the product. Imrie said the trials were arguably the most extensive calibration and verification exercise undertaken between a power supply simulation and measured system performance of a rail network.
The trial measured the actual power supply performance of single trains and the energy consumption on Queensland Rail’s Cleveland Line during five days of peak hour operation.
“These actual measurements were found to closely align with the accuracy of an equivalent simulation,” he said.
The software tool, known as OpenPowerNet, was developed by the Institute for Railway Technology, Dresden (IFB Dresden) in Germany. It has been brought to Australia as a value-add to the highly successful infrastructure and network performance simulation software package OpenTrack.
“We have been marketing OpenTrack in Australia for some years now and have been impressed by its ability to faithfully represent the operating railway," Imrie said.
"OpenPowerNet allows us to now test power supplies to the railway as part of a co-simulation exercise and will allow users to accurately assess the potential of their existing and proposed infrastructure."
Germany’s IFB Dresden wished to create a plug-in simulation module using the advantages of an existing commercial railway operation simulator. OpenTrack was chosen as the ideal tool due to its excellent capability and relative ease of use.
OpenTrack deals with the rail network simulation under normal and disturbed timetable situations using the infrastructure and train data. In a synchronised simulation, OpenPowerNet can present an energy prognosis of the entire electrified railway taking into account engine and train power consumption and location within the network.
OpenPowerNet is already used in Europe and China for the simulation of both AC and DC railway traction systems and is considered one of the most advanced software tools for this purpose on the market.
On the new Netherlands high speed Line Zuid, it is used for the commercial train energy billing of different train operators. For Chinese high speed lines, it has been used to test the rating of the current return system. The analysis and optimisation of the Zurich Tram and Trolley bus power supply network is also done using OpenPowerNet.
The tool has been purchased by Queensland Rail to allow proof of new design concepts, analysis of their existing system performance, and to improve their investment decision making.
A full technical paper on OpenPowernet has been submitted for inclusion in AusRAIL 2012, to be held in Canberra in November.
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