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Electric Traction Supply System on Indian Railways

Nothern Inidan Railways,


1.0 Introduction The typical schematic of

power supply arrangement is
Indian Railways is the
shown in fig. 3.1
largest government
institutional costumer and
The basic arrangement
purchaser from various
constitutes incoming supply
Electricity boards and other
to Railway traction sub
Electric Supply Authorities.
station at a voltage level
Out of total RKM 19000 RKM
of 220 KV / 132 KV , which
is electrified which carries
normally feeds power along
60% of total freight as well
the track for 35-40 Km.
as passenger traffic across
Adjacent traction sub
station are fed from
Annually, approximately 30
different phases in rotation
billion units of electricity
in order to balance the 3
is consumed by Railways, out
phase load in its entirety.
of which 10.4 billion units
Neutral sections are
are used for electric
provided in between two
traction purpose. Railway is
adjacent sub station to
paying approximate Rs. 5000
prevent the bridging of
crores every year on account
different phases while
of traction energy charges
passing the electric
which constitutes about 20%
of total revenue budget of
Level of voltage is reduced
2.0 Bar diagram to 25 KV for the end use of
locomotives by 21.6 MVA
signal phase power
3.0 Traction Power Supply transformers placed at
Scheme traction sub stations which
are located at every 30-35
Indian Railway has adopted
Kms distance along the
25 KV industrial frequency
( 50 Hz) A.C supply system
for traction purposes. The
4.0 Locomotive Power
power supplies are derived
from 220 KV / 132 KV 3
General arrangement of power
phase transmission system
circuit of electric
from the various grids.
locomotive is shown in fig

25 KV input voltage, fed to section to the bare minimum
the locomotive through over and carry out smooth train
head wires running parallel operation the advancement
to track, is transformed to healthy section.
low voltage through loco
transformer equipped with 6.0 Protection Scheme
on-load tap changing A number of protection
facility. This alternating equipments are provided at
voltage is converted into traction sub station as well
D.C. voltage by the in the locomotive for
rectifier and smoothing protection of traction
reactor circuitry before equipments. Following
being fed to set of six D.C. protective device are
series traction motors provided at traction sub-
placed at the underframe of station:-
a conventional loco motive.
i) Differential protection
However, in modern 3 Phase ii) Restricted earth fault
locomotives, the rectified protection
D.C. output is fed to the 3 iii) Buchholz relay
Phase induction motors iv) Oil temperature
through 3 Phase invertors. indicator
v) Winding temperature
5.0 Details of TSS indicator
2 Phase (R-Y) incoming
220/132 KV supply from Power The following further
supply authorities is fed to protective relays are
traction transformer through provided for protection of
double pole isolators and overhead line against any
circuit breakers with fault
relevant protection scheme.
Out put voltage at 25 KV is i) Mho relay for distance
fed to overhead wire running protection
along the track through ii) Wrong coupling relays
single pole circuit breaker between two sub station
and remote controlled iii) Over current relays
interrupters. Overhead lines for fault closure to sub
are separated at periodic station.
intervals through sectioning iv) Panto flash over
post(SP) and sub sectioning protection
post (SSP) for isolation of
faulty section through With the emerging digital
remote control. Sub sector technology, old
are further sub divided into electromechanically and
different elementary section solid-state type relays are
through manual isolators in being replaced by
order to reduce the faulty microprocessor based numeric

relays in a phased manner. station, based on Pentium IV
These relays are having processor, Main server &
parallelogram characteristic stand by server and window
instead of circular based communication
characterstices with feature processor.
of inbuilt fault locator.
The data from Remote Control
Center is communicated
7.0 Traction Power Control through 600/1200 BPS, FSK,
Supervisory control and data modem and sent to remote
acquisition system ( SCADA) terminal unit via
is in place for operation communication media which
and control of traction interact with various
power supply. All the controlled and protective
switching operations equipments provided at the
required for maintenance as controlled posts.
well as segregation of fault
is being performed from
Remote Control Center 8.0 Power Quality aspects
through SCADA. of Electric Traction

Remote Control System 8.1

constitutes standard SCADA The term power quality is
software and remote terminal used to describe the extent
units provided at of variation of the voltage,
TSS/SP/SSP. SCADA system is current and frequency on the
so designed that RTU at power system . The variation
various switching posts of voltage and current can
shall be able to communicate either be in terms of
as standard communication magnitude or waveform shape/
media, which may be optical distortion.
fiber cable , chord cable or
through microwave, VHF radio 8.2 Power Quality
patch. Standards
• While IEEE 519, IEC 61000-
The typical schematic block 3-2/4 describes current
diagram of complete SCADA is distortion limits at PCC for
shown at fig 7.1 . different power system
voltages & fault levels and
The communication protocol for different equipments
is employed for present respectively, IEEE 1159
SCADA system has been describes recommended
standardized and based on practices for monitoring of
IEC- 870. power quality. Performance
standards like EN 50160
Remote control center are describe limits of voltage
provided with operator works un balance, harmonic

distortion that have been used to combine 6 – pulse
fixed for utilities. bridges to construct 12/24
pulse converters.
8.3 Effects of harmonics
in the system 8.5 Main features of
• Form factor deterioration, Traction Load
i.e. ratio between the RMS Traction load is inductive
and the Average value of the in nature with a poor power
rectified traction voltage. factor in the range of 0.7
Increase of form factor to 0.8. Because of presence
means reduction in ability of nonlinear components like
of loco to absorb power from thyristors, power-diodes
system. etc, locomotive is
nonlinear and prominent
• Harmonics are also non source of generation of odd
useful reactive energy and current harmonics ( 16-20%)
cause poor PF. THD). Moreover, wide
variation of load in a very
short duration leads to
• Increase in line current
voltage flickers and
and losses.
fluctuations (swell and sags
in power quality
• Limitations of signaling terminology) and also
track circuits. results into poor voltage
• Interference to regulation. Although
telecommunication. conventional locomotives do
• Limitations of harmonic not have elaborate provision
injections into public for containing harmonics,
utility. advanced locomotives which
are equipped with three
8.4 Controlling Harmonic phase technology do have
currents extensive circuits for
Shunt filters are tuned harmonic filtrations as well
series L-C circuits. On IR as voltage regulation.
presently HT capacitor with
13% reactor acts as harmonic 8.6 Effort taken by Indian
filter. Railways for improving power
• Harmonic compensation or Compensation of reactive
injection using voltage power in order to improve
source converters or active power factor is being done
filters. by series parallel
combination of LC circuits.
• Phase multiplication. The
basic 3- Phase converter is • Compensation or
a six pulse unit. Phase elimination of harmonics in
shifting transformers are the system, for improvement

in voltage form factor and • Self commutated VAR
reduction of line losses is generators: The fast
achieved by using passive switching power electric
filters (LC circuits) at devices are used to act
RTSS. either as voltage or current
fed inverter to inject
• Reduction in voltage required amount of leading /
imbalance in 3 phase supply lagging reactive KVAR into
system of Grid is being the system.
achieved by balancing the
traction load over a bigger
geographical arena by
alternatively changing the
pair of incoming phases
taken from the grid for
supplying successive RTSS.

• Monitoring of short
duration voltage
disturbances i.e. sag, swell
and flickers is not being
done by the railways, at

8.7 Compensation of
reactive power to improve
power factor
Reactive power compensation
Methods of improve PF

• Using HT capacitors with

13% detuned reactors. It
also act as passive filters
for filtering of harmonics.

• Static VAR compensators

( SVC ) : It uses switching
devices to control
capacitive or inductive
energy into the system.
Available SVC configurations
are Thyristor switched
capacitors ( TSC). Thyristor
controlled reactors with
passive filters ( TCR).