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Author Topic: Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice  (Read 2610 times)

Offline Scott

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Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice
« on: January 10, 2017, 06:35:03 AM »
Alstom has been contracted to deliver a new LRT line in Nice, France where it will apply its new SRS wireless capacitor charging power option.
https://www.globalrailnews.com/2016/12/21/alstom-and-colas-rail-win-nice-line-2-power-supply-contract/

Unlike the APS system applied in Bordeaux and elsewhere SRS will feature wireless power with LRVs carring a mix of batteries and capacitors.  These will be charged at charging stations at each stop.  Charging stations can now recharge large capacitors in under 30 seconds.  These can then power the LRV for a kilometre or more depending on gradient.  Batteries form a backup if the LRV is caught in traffic. Similar systems have been implemented recently by CAF (Zaragossa), Seimens (Doha) and are under development by Bombardier.

Alstom has previously been marketing its wireless APS system using an in ground third rail.  This is now reliable and has good performance but reportedly remains costly.

Offline OzGamer

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Re: Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 10:58:01 AM »
I wonder if this system could be applied to buses.

Offline SurfRail

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Re: Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 11:34:17 AM »
For buses, the technology is already rapidly approaching the point where batteries will get you as far as a tank of diesel. 

Trams are more energy intensive so will take a while longer, and wires are still very cost competitive and efficient anyway given the right of way needing electrification is fairly specific and limited.
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Offline OzGamer

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Re: Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 01:41:20 PM »
For buses, the technology is already rapidly approaching the point where batteries will get you as far as a tank of diesel. 

That's true, but recharging still takes substantially longer than refilling a tank of gas or diesel. I'm interested in electrifying the bus network sooner rather than later and I'm not sure that battery-only buses will be able to replace diesel powered ones for a while without charging on the road, at stops, or during layovers.

You might be right, though.

Offline Gazza

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Re: Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 01:41:50 PM »
Nice!

Offline Scott

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Re: Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 05:17:36 PM »
Ozgamer

Yes it can be applied to buses and it already is being done.  There are trials in Zurich and several German cities to name a few.

Capacitors allow fast recharge but shorter range.  So you might charge up a bus in a minute or two then do a complete route.

Batteries take longer to charge but then have more energy density and so go further.  So you might charge up over a longer period at the depot but then run on battery for a whole driver shift.

There are many different options.  Here is a story on the Zurich example.
http://www.autoblog.com/2016/07/18/genevas-new-flash-charge-electric-buses-refuel-in-15-seconds/

The Seimens LRV can charge in under 30 seconds and then run up to 1.5km on level ground.  So charging at each LRT stop then running under battery or capacitor to the next platform is becoming quite feasible.  LRT Systems in Doha and soon Kaohsuing (Taiwan) are doing this now.  No catenary at all.  Also all of these technologies are getting cheaper as well as longer ranged.  This will potentially make LRT more cost competitive with busways in the near future. 

Brisbane could have built state of the art light rail, including rolling stock, for the cost of the busways. They are good busways, but still... imagine if Brisbane had an LRT system like Bordeaux or Strasbourg now, running every six or seven minutes, with lines where the heavy rail does not go. That is what we decided against.

Offline OzGamer

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Re: Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 09:20:04 AM »
That looks very interesting but maybe still not there. 30 seconds is an awfully long time to have to stop at every stop or busway station.

EDIT: Actually, looking at it again, they seem to be claiming that it's more like 15 seconds, which is much more reasonable. I wonder if the 29 Bus from Woolloongabba to UQ Lakes would be a good trial location for a similar service here. It would be limited to two terminal stations and two intermediate, all of which would be generally stopping for decent loads. (END EDIT)

And I'm not sure I agree that light rail would definitely have been better than the busways we have. Most of the people who ride the busway either board or leave the bus somewhere other than the busway itself. A connected network could still be very good but it's not obvious that light rail would have been better.

The dense linear nature of the Gold Coast strip makes light rail much more clearly appropriate there, for example.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 09:27:40 AM by OzGamer »

Offline Scott

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Re: Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 08:57:17 PM »
Ozgamer
As your edit suggests the bus recharge time is suitable for typical stops - under 30 seconds.

LRVs typically stop for 25-30 seconds so the recharge time would work fine for them.

I appreciate the busway has worked well, but LRT would have had higher terminal capacity and avoided the problems now leading to the need for either LRT or Metro in central Brisbane.  So the real final cost of the busway will be higher, plus much higher Opex.  The LRT would have required many passengers to interchange (nit all) but that works OK with frequencies of six minutes or less, which is common.  As it is, busway passengers will now have to interchange onto the Metro anyway under the mayor's proposal.

Offline SurfRail

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Re: Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 09:01:49 PM »
Light rail run competently shouldn't be dwelling for more than 15-20 seconds really.  That kind of time is regularly achieved on the Gold Coast, at quieter stops and times at least.

If the technology interferes with that, then forget about it until it is no longer an issue.  We know wires at least work and don't impede the tram's progress.
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Offline Scott

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Re: Contract for new Alstom LRT Wireless Power option in Nice
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 09:26:57 PM »
Surfrail

I should have been clearer on the LRV recharge times.  They vary depending on temperature, size of capacitors and gradient, so could be down as low as 20 seconds.

But sure, if G:Link only takes 15-20 seconds at low volume stops then wireless could slow it down.

And I agree that, if you really want high capacity and reliability, overhead line is still the number one way to go.  These new wireless systems offer cheaper solutions than APS, if you need wireless on a section for some aesthetic or clearance reason.  They could be handy in depots too.  It will be interesting to see how the technology advances.

 

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