ICEBURNER – Switch Point RailWay Heater System whith High Efficiency, Availability and Versatility Performance
PROJECT ICEBURNER – Switch Point RailWay Heater System whith High Efficiency, Availability and Versatility Performance
TYPE OF WORK I+D - EFICIENCIA ENERGÉTICA - SEGURIDAD FERROVIARIA
CUSTOMER Programa Estatal de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación
DATE EN PROGRESO: Inicio: 2016 / Final: 2018
CHALLENGE: The replacement of the traditional highly inefficient resistance needle heating systems – since the energy transfer is by conduction and convection and therefore does not heat the rail -, and gas heaters that present flammability problems.
WHAT IS THE INVESTIGATION? In the study of the implantation of induction coils for the heating of rail or plate by induced currents, which would allow to go from an efficiency of 20% current to a higher than 80%.
EXPECTED RESULTS: The objectives of the project make this proposal is fully framed within the Social Challenge “Sustainable, Intelligent and Integrated Transport”, identified as State Plan for Scientific and Technical Innovation Research 2013-2016.
The proposed benefits are not found in any product of needle warmers. This project is part of the reality that needle heaters are essential elements to keep active the availability of the rail network in the presence of heavy snow. Its installation is necessary at points where temperatures can drop below zero degrees -such as Europe, the United States, Canada, Russia, China or Japan- and the total number in the world is estimated at 50,000, which is a market close to 100 million euros.
The availability of the rail network depends on the changes of needle and these can work incorrectly in the presence of large amount of snow, since the moving part could be blocked. To prevent this situation the heaters are installed. Therefore, in adverse weather conditions the availability of the railway network depends on its number and its correct functioning.
The heating system for needles will have the following features:
Very high availability, which will be achieved through the following points:
■ Modular power electronics with two solutions in parallel that allow fault tolerance.
■ Possibility of connection of external batteries that allows to maintain the functions at least 4h in a reduced work regime.
■ Configuration of hot spots on track or plate with possibility of redundancy for fault tolerance.
■ Use of induction heaters with lane or plate heating by induced currents, which allows in first calculations to pass from an efficiency of 10% to a higher than 80%.
■ Power regulation that allows adapting the power consumed to external environmental conditions.
■ Self-diagnostic function of the installation.
■ Communications with control post for supervision and remote control.
■ Design of inductors with multiple configurations for the same power electronics.
■ Simple installation-uninstallation of inductors solution to facilitate maintenance tasks of the substructure.
INNOVATIVE ELEMENTS: Regarding the design of inductor coils for heating by electromagnetic induction of railway needles, the main requirements come from the need to generate the appropriate electromagnetic field inside the ferromagnetic material that makes the heater function.
These requirements are the following:
– Uniform generation of electromagnetic field in the induced plate or rail.
– Operation at the maximum permeability operating point.
– Minimization of local losses in the inductor coil to optimize heat transmission in the induced plate or rail.
FINANCIACIÓN: Through the 2015 Collaboration Challenges aids program, from the State Program of Research, Development and Innovation Oriented towards the Challenges of Society, within the framework of the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2013-2016 (WEB) promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness of Spain (MINECO)Volver