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ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES AND DIESEL ELECTRIC K. K. Hewavithana Bsc.(Eng) Hons. CEng.,MIE(SL). MBA Deputy Chief Engineer Motive Power Sri Lanka Railway 0714399631
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Contents Classification of Locomotives Electric Locomotives DC DC Type DC AC TYpe AC AC Type Diesel Electric DC DC DCAC AC AC

* Electric Locomotives * Diesel Electric Locomotives * Hybrid locomotives

Electric Locomotive This type of locomotive get the electrical power to haul the trail from national grid or land based electrical generating system through high voltage DC or AC Supply commenly used methods are explained in this document. It is also possible to feed the national grid dynamic braking mode to save energy as well as rail and wheel meterial

Basic types of Electrical transmission locomotives around the world

Diesel Electric Locomotives This type generate necessary electrical supply within the locomotive using Diesel powerded engine and AC or DC type Generater Various types of Diesel engins and generaters are used for that purpose. this type of locomotives can be equipped with dynamic braking but electrical energy generated has to be wasted on electrical grid since there is no method is availabe to utilize it with in the engine

Hybrid locomotive This type basically a diesel electri type but with large capacity battery set on board with high capacity inverters to store electrical engrgy developed during dynamic braking while locomotive braking and moving on down hill.

There is a wide variety of electric traction systems around the world. History of electric locomotives was over 100 years old. Many electric locomotives seen today have gone through several stages of developments throughout the history. In the last 20 years there has been a dramatic development in railway traction methods. This was mainly due to the

Electric Locomotives

development of power electronics and microprocessor technology. The traditional design manufacturing and operating practices were dramatically and fundamentally change by the introduction of programmable electronic systems and high voltage electronic controllers such as IGBT technology.,

Modern electric locomotive Power Supply

DC power supply AC Power Supply The electric railway needs a power supply that the trains can access at all times. It must be safe, economical and user friendly. There are 2 possible technologies available.

DC (direct current)This is a traditional method which is easy to use for controlling; Use Third rail or overhead current collectors (pantograph) for power supply return circuit is usually via running rail which is earthed. Normally 3rd rail systems are considered a method for suburban or metro railway system, 750 volt DC third rail supply has been used extensively over the railway systems but may go up to 3000 volts, and trains normally can run up to 145 km/h.

It is easier to boost the voltage of AC than that of DC, so it is easier to send more power over transmission lines with AC. This is why national electrical supplies are distributed at up to 10, 00,000 volts with AC.

AC (alternating current)This is a new development which need sophisticated electronics for speed and load controlling. Always use overhead current collector (pantograph) for supply power and return circuit is normally through running rail which is earthed. It is easier to boost the voltage of AC than that of DC, so it is easier to send more power over transmission lines with AC. This is why national electrical supplies are distributed at up to 10, 00,000 volts AC. As AC is easier to transmit over long distances, it is an ideal medium for electric railways. Only the problems of converting it on the train to run DC motors restricted its widespread adoption until the 1960s. But due to the development in high voltage power electronics in the recent past solved most of the technical problems associated with train speed and load control. Return circuit There must be a return circuit for any electric circuit to complete the path of current flow. So a return conductor is needed. The steel rails which carry the wheels to run are used for this purpose. Provided precautions are taken to prevent the voltage getting too high above the zero of the ground. This system work satisfactorily, except some possible disturbances to signaling circuits, which need special precautions to protect them from interference. The power circuit on the train is completed by connecting the return current to brushes rubbing on the axle ends. The wheels, being steel, take it to the running rails. Running rails are wired into the substation supplying the electrical power. There is no difference in DC or AC return circuits used in railways. When consider the transmission of electric power, AC is better than DC because it can be distributed

at high voltages over a small size conductor wire, whereas DC needs a large, heavy wire or, on many DC railways, an extra rail. DC also needs more frequent feeder substations than AC. The ratio of DC substation needed compared with AC substations, for a railway averages at about 8 to 1 when considering historical data available . Electrical circuit used for DC third rail system DC Traction Control systems. Electric Locomotive with AC overhead supply and DC traction circuit with tap changer This diagram (above) shows a simplified schematic for a 25 kV AC electric locomotive this had been used in late 1960s. The 25 kV AC was collected by the pantograph and passed to the transformer. The transformer was needed to step down the voltage to a level which can be managed by the traction motors. The level of current applied to the motors was controlled by a "tap changer", which switches in more sections of the transformer to increase the voltage passing through to the motors. It works in the same way as the resistance controllers used in DC traction, where the resistance contactors are controlled by a camshaft operating under the driver's commands. Before being passed to the motors, the AC has to be changed to DC by passing it through a rectifier. Below diagram shows a 25V AC electric locomotive with DC motors which are controlled by using thyristors. The thyristor is a development of the diode. It acts like a diode in that it allows current to flow in only one direction but differs from the diode in that it will only permit the current to flow after it has been switched on or "gated". Once it has been gated and the current is flowing, the only way it

can be turned off is to send current in the opposite direction. This cancels the original gating command. It's simple to achieve on an AC locomotive because the current switches its direction during each cycle. With this development, controllable rectifiers became possible and tap changers were replaced with Thyristors. Electric Locomotive with AC overhead supply and DC traction circuit With Thyristor control Dynamic Braking With DC traction motors. Trains equipped with thyristor control can readily use dynamic braking, where the motors become generators and feed the resulting current into an on-board resistance (rheostatic braking) or back into the supply system (regenerative braking). The circuits are reconfigured, usually by a "motor/brake switch" operated by a command from the driver,to allow the thyristors to control the current flow as the motors slow down. An advantage of the thyristor control circuitry is its ability to choose either regenerative or rheostatic braking simply by automatically detecting the state of receptivity of the line. So, when the regenerated voltage across the supply connection filter circuit reaches a preset upper limit, a thyristor fires to divert the current to the on-board resistor.

Recent development in DC traction (GTO Thyristors) By the late 1980s, the thyristor had been developed to a stage where it could be turned off by a control circuit as well as turned off by itself. This was the "gate turn off" or GTO thyristor. This meant that the thyristor commutating circuit could be eliminated for DC fed power circuits, a saving on several electronic devices for each circuit. Now thyristors could be turned on and off virtually without complicated electronics and a single thyristor could be used to control a DC motor. AC traction control systems There are two types of AC motor available for AC traction circuits, synchron ous AC motors asynchro nous AC motors The synchron ous motor has its field coils mounted on the drive shaft and the armature coils in the housing, the inverse of normal practice. The synchronous motor has been used in electric traction for many years. In most of the systems 25 kV AC supply, rectified to DC and then inverted back to AC for supply to the motor. It

was designed before the GTO thyristor had been sufficiently developed for railway use and it used simple thyristors. The advantage for the synchronous motor in this application is that the motor produces the reverse voltages needed to turn off the thyristors. But synchrono us AC motors were replaced with Asynchronous AC motors when GTO thyristers were introduced for railway application. The asynchronous motor, also called the induction motor, is an AC motor which comprises a rotor and a stator like the DC motor, but the AC motor does not need current to flow through the armature. The current flowing in the field coils forces the rotor to turn. However, it does have to have a three phase supply. The two big advantages of the 3-phase asynchronous motor design are that, 1. motor has no brushes, since there is no electrical connection between the armature and the fields 2. The armature can be made of steel laminations, instead of the large number of windings required in other motors. These features make it more robust and cheaper to build than motor with commutator.

the line voltage (say 25kV single phase) is fed into a transformer and a secondary winding is taken off for the rectifier which produces a DC output of say 1500 - 2000 volts depending on the application. This is then passed to the inverter which provides the controlled three phases to the traction motors. The connection between the rectifier and the inverter is called the DC link. This usually also supplies output for the train's auxiliary circuits. All the thyristors used in above circuit are GTOs, including those in the rectifier, since they are now used to provide a more efficient output than is possible with the older thyristors. In addition, all the facilities of DC motor control are available, including dynamic braking, but are provided more efficiently and with less moving parts. Control of these systems is complex but it is all carried out by microprocessors. The control of the voltage pulses and the frequency has to be matched with the motor speed. The changes which occur during this process produce a set of characteristic buzzing noises which sound like the "gear changing" of a road vehicle and which can clearly be heard when riding on the power car of an AC driven EMU. Speeds controlling of AC traction motors are basically based on frequency controlling of the supply. This system has a disadvantage of noise generation during controlling, something heard as Electric Locomotive with AC overhead electronic mechanical gear changing noise. This is supply and AC traction circuits elemenitated later with introduction of new The AC motor can be used by either an AC or DC technologies traction supply system. In the case of AC supply,

New developments in AC traction After extensive use of GTO for power controlling in traction circuits, power electronics engineers have produced a new development. This is named as IGBT or Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor. The invention of IGBT revolutionized the modern electronics and motor speed controlling. IGBT can turn on and off like a thyristor but it doesn't need the high currents to do this function. Early IGBT can only handle small electrical currents, but modern IGBT, can handle thousands of amps. IGBT appeared in modern traction control applications from late 1990s. Advantage of IGBT over GTO and normal Thyrister 1. IGBT can switch a lot faster (three to four times faster) than GTOs. This reduces the current required and therefore the heat generated, giving smaller and lighter units. The faster switching also reduces the complex "gearing" sound of GTOs and makes for a much smoother and more even sounding acceleration buzz from under the train. 2. IGBT could be turned on or off like a thyristor but it doesn't need the high currents of the thyristor for switching action. End