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Boora, Arash A. and Zare, Firuz and Ghosh, Arindam and Ledwich, Gerard F.
(2007) Applications of power electronics in railway systems. In Proceedings
Australasian Universities Power Engineering Conference, 2007 (AUPEC 2007),
pages pp. 113-121, Perth, Western Australia.

Copyright 2007 IEEE

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Applications of Power Electronics

in Railway Systems
Arash A. Boora, Firuz Zare, Arindam Ghosh and Gerard Ledwich

Abstract Power system interface with electrified railways

(ER), auxiliary power, hybrid trains, electromagnetic interface
(EMI) and traction are reviewed in this paper for diesel electric
trains and ERs. Auxiliary power supply is a low voltage AC/DC
power supply for onboard devices with an important
consideration for safety equipment. In diesel electric railways
because of variable train speed, a sort of compromise is taking
place between traction and auxiliary power which usually affects
auxiliary equipment performance. Hybrid trains energy storage
unit can compensate this deficiency. Other challenges in railways
are their compatibility with power and communication systems.
Index Terms active filters, electrified railways, hybrid trains,
electrified railway power system, power electronics.


ailways are basically categorized to Electrified and

Diesel-electric systems. This classification dictates a
majority of their characteristics.
Auxiliary power is a low voltage AC and DC power
supply for different onboard devices. The other challenge in
railways is desirable performance of auxiliary power supply to
keep lights, air condition etc. regardless of trains running mode
and rail conditions. Considering that safety equipment is
powered by an auxiliary power supply elucidates its
importance. When it comes to auxiliary equipment reliability
in diesel electric because of varying running mode a sort of
compromise is taking place between traction and auxiliary
power. This usually affects auxiliary equipment performance.
Hybrid trains energy storage unit can make up this
inefficiency. Different kinds of railways ex. high speed, trams,
intercity, freight etc. has these challenges in diverse extents.
There are some general approaches that can be involved in all
or some of coming categories like [74] which briefly reports
about a railway system simulation considering all various
aspects of control, traction, auxiliary power, braking etc.
Another general assertion is [14] which explain chinas
railway potential for new technologies.


There is a general power based classification in [3]: Light
rails with less than 1MW. Medium loads are commuter (3-4
Manuscript received September 17, 2007. Arash A. Boora, Firuz Zare,
Arindam Ghosh and Gerard Ledwich are with the School of Engineering
Systems, Queensland University of Technology

MW) and high speed intercity (4-6 MW) trains. Very high
speed commuters (TGV: 8-10MW) and freight trains (EU: 610MW, US: 18-24MW) are high demand railways. To
establish a railway system its economical and technical
feasibility, compatibility with other power system customers
and adjacent communicational systems should be considered
[3]. Light trains are designed to stop every 2 or 3 km to cover
a wide urban area and they require accelerating and
decelerating fast enough to be efficient. When the working
field of railway is wider to cover suburban areas, commuter
trains come along. They travel in longer distances and longer
intervals (5 to 10 miles) between each stop and with higher
speeds (125 mile/h). Their feeder voltage needs to be AC to
reach high enough voltage levels of 15kV or 25 kV. If
frequency of stops is reduced to achieve higher speeds and
more carriage, high speed intercity trains will be defined. An
identical ex. for high speed train is TGV which has a single
phase 25kV; 50Hz on its catenary TGV can travel up to 330
miles/h. the power supply of TGV is handled by French
national grid on voltage levels of 275 kV or 400 kV to
increase reliability and power quality. There are other high
speed railways (HSR) like ICE in Germany or HSR 350X and
KTX in Korea [5] Sinkansen and Maglev in Japan. For general
information about worldwide high speed trains are described
in [17].
However very high power traction motors are applied in
freight trains especially those are running in US. They run in a
low speed high power manner. Because of this high power and
lower priority of freight in comparison to passenger carrying
railways, freight electrification has more power quality
problems and less economical justification.


One of main problems regarding to electrified rail ways is
power quality shortage that can reduce other customers usage
efficiency below standards. Railway produced power
disturbances which can be classified as below:
A. Power Unbalance
Since electrified trains are single phase loads inherently,
connection of these time varying (as much as they are high
speed) unbalance (as much as they are high power) loads to
three phase power system will lead to huge power unbalance.
This problem has been facing different solutions. Firstly some

countries devoted a specific power system to their ERs and
made other customers isolated from power quality
disturbances produced by railway. The other solution is to use
DC transmission systems for trains. This strategy is working
and different standard and a few not standard DC voltage
levels are used to supply railway system. In this approach
railway is connected to a main power system trough an AC\DC
rectifier and all of the power turbulences are cut off at a point
of common coupling by this high voltage rectifier. The other
solution was to design railway train to work as AC load but not
necessarily with standard frequency of 50/60 Hz. There are
different voltage levels for this type of railway power feeding.
The solutions before power electronics viability for this
level of voltage were limited to a few balancing
transformations in AC feeders namely: V transformer, Scott
transformer and Le Blanc transformer all of them well
compatible with simple single phase transformation in
capability of unbalance reduction. (Fig 1 from 80)

Fig 1: Common traction system to grid configurations

Also to keep unbalance system within standard levels a

strong network (high short circuit duty) should be used at the
voltages of 220kV, 115kV or 69kV at least.
B. Harmonic distortion
There are speed drives, power conversion equipment or
frequency converters that inject harmonic in to railways
suppling power system. These harmonics can disturb other
power systems or lead to high frequency electromagnetic fields
incompatible with close equipment as well as train signalling
system. There are some classic solutions for harmonic
distortion reduction like third sequence harmonic eliminator
transformers. An active power filter is a modern solution for
these problems such as unbalance, harmonic distortion and low
power factor problems.
C. Flicker
As the train passes between two adjacent substations voltage
sag may happen and affect other customers electrical light
performance so called flicker. There are some structural

solutions regarding to all of these challenges which are used in

different countries. In Germany and Sweden low frequency
systems are used which are low frequency power system in
Germany and frequency conversion in Sweden. However in
England, France, USA and Africa higher voltages has reduced
the problem in different manners which are connecting railway
supply system to main network in a high voltage point of
common coupling or designing railway system to work under a
higher catenary voltage. All of abovementioned methods are
relying on a strong power system at the PCC to keep
unbalance under 2% and harmonic distortion within standard
limits as well.


Considering power electronics facilities new frontiers
opened to power quality compensation solutions. Load
unbalance can be attenuated by making controlled power
transmission paths between two or three single phases owing
to power electronic switching circuits.
In [16] 25 kV feeder characteristics are presented and
reasons for power quality problems in railway systems are
mentioned, followed by brief description of methods for
compensating these shortage. Namely:
1) Reducing the distance between 25kV supply substations.
2) A higher fault level at each 25 kV supply station.
3) Using static VAR compensator as voltage support at each
supply point.
4) More switching stations between each two adjacent
substations to limit faults.
5) Series capacitors either in substations or overhead wiring.
6) Shunt connected capacitors either as circuit-breaker
capacitors or reactive power compensator.
7) Transformer type series regulators in the overhead line.
8) On-load tap changing transformers installed for each
9) Paralleling feeders to share load between them and
alleviate unbalance.
10) Engineering the geometric configuration of feeders to
reduce its series impedances.
11) Single phase transition to distant stations at a higher
voltage to decrease voltage loss.
12) Paralleling of adjacent substations via the overhead line.
13) Installing switching capacitors on board.
14) Twining contact overhead lines to reduce inductance and
resistance and increase the lines current capacity.
15) Unbalanced autotransformer voltage.
16) Storage batteries connected by inverters to collect extra
power and support overhead line voltage.
A. . Active filters structural characteristics
In [26], [27] and [65] power electronic compensators are
designed, simulated and experimented to control voltage form
factor on 25 kV ERs. The presented active power filter in [26]
and the hybrid (passive and active filters) multi level ones

presented in [65] and [27] are shunt connected to solve both
harmonic distortion of 3rd , 5th and 7th harmonics and low
power factor. The shunt compensator is installed at the end of
overhead line and works regarding to the voltage which senses
at its connection point. In [67] an algorithm to achieve high
performance selective harmonic extraction is revised. In [68]
same active filter as [65] is deal as impedance connected to
end of feeder line. The paper is optimizing this impedance to
find the most effective control strategy for proposed active
filter to achieve acceptable voltage pantograph along the
whole line. In [64] another shunt connected active power
compensator is presented that suppose to compensate
unbalance created by railway application on power system in
addition to reactive power required by traction motor. The
method is upgrading a traditional Scott transformer with a
bidirectional inverter that can balance two output phases of
Scott transformer by transmitting a fraction of overloaded
phase to under loaded one. By side the inverter compensates
harmonics. [33] has realized same but more advanced strategy
for Shinkansen high speed railway (HSR). (Fig 2 from [33])

Fig 2: Scott transformer and DC/AC converter application for power balance
in Railway system.

In [76] hybrid active power filter (passive filter + active

filter) configurations are classified and modelled and their
characteristics are tabulated (Table. 1) and explained. In
addition the problem of unbalanced harmonic distortion is
mentioned. To solve this problem in an exact way, positive,
negative, and zero sequence harmonic compensation should de
revised. A novel configuration and control strategy is
presented. In [56] a power electronic system stabilizer is
utilised for HSR distribution system. The proposed method
assesses relationship between power loss and stability in
railway supply system. The case study in [56] is Korean HSR.
It claims that by reducing voltage drop through compensating
reactive power system stability will increase. The stabilizer
produces required reactive power. In [34] voltage switched
capacitors are applied to regulate voltage on a 25 kV railway
system. [34] uses a cheaper device (thyristor) in comparison
with mentioned references. As a drawback, compensation in
this method can be conducted in steps and not continuously. In
addition thyristor is a source of harmonics because of its low
switching frequency. In [66] a different compensating method
is introduced which adds a medium voltage level between

main supply and railway lines. The compensator which is a

two phase inverter is connected to this medium voltage line
and senses and then regulates this voltage. (Fig 3 from [66])

Fig 3: an intermediate voltage level between to regulate voltage

B. . Active filter equipped power systems analysis

In [51] a power system simulation has been directed to
extract unbalance vulnerability of a test network. According to
[51] voltage and current unbalance are related to train load and
motion conditions and power supply configuration. Classic
methods of unbalance alleviation which generally are 3 phase
to 2 phase transformers are considered in this unbalance effect
study (3 phase to 4 phase transformation for rail way
application is proposed in [75]). To compare different railway
load distribution effect four experiments with varying loads
and different arrangement has been prepared.
[48] specifically focuses on active filter for tram. Unlike
above mentioned active filters this one acts as an input or
series filter. In [37] the mathematical technique of Diakoptics
is applied for railway system solutions. Diakoptics is to tear a
given system into a number of independent, then joining the
solutions of separated parts together for the solution for
complete problem. It is a good idea for railway power system
with indispensable characteristic of changing loads and more
identical: changing structure of under study railway system by
its trains movement. In [69] harmonic analysis for Korean
railway system has been implemented. To direct this study an
eight-port model for considered railway is defined and
presented. In addition, to certify proposed model simulations
based on the model is compared with measurement in. Further
more amplification of harmonic by resonance in railway
electrification system is studied. In [31] a mathematical
approach to extract general control strategy for advanced
25kV-50Hz ERs has been performed. The objective of
nonlinear control is to attain current and voltage balance in
power system regardless of uncertainties and nonlinearities. In
[79] a purely structural approach calculates the optimal
positioning of RC-banks to reduce harmonic distortion in a
given railway network. Then Optimization is focused on R and
C amounts to alleviate harmonic amplification. In [78] the case
of Taipei MRT DC system is studied, focusing on harmonic
quantity and quality. In [78] practical measurement method

which is used in this study is explained and measurements
results are presented and compared with mathematical
predictions. Then parameters that can not be easily considered
in mathematical harmonic analyse methods are named and the
difference they make is shown in measurement results. In [49]
Olympic electric train is studied in the power quality point of
view. Chargeable batteries are used to improve power quality
in case study system. In [86] and [92] probabilistic methods
for load flow in ER suppling power systems is suggested. They
purpose to layout Probability density functions of voltage or
power flow in certain point of the power system which
indicates the ranges of variations of these parameters. In [80]
traction unbalance problem is discussed and some
methodologies to analyse are presented. Then a new method is
offered which is based on sensing and compensating the
negative sequence of three phase power supply. The point
about this idea is that multiple sources of unbalance do not
interact because their effect on negative sequence is additive
and can be deal separately.
In [70] three level PWM inverter which is used for the HSR
traction drive is studied. The purpose is to analyses its
harmonic current characteristics in steady state mode. A
comparison between a three level converter harmonics with a
pair of interlaced two level converters is presented and
resulted to their equality in this point of view.
In [71] a model of an auto transformer fed AC HSR is
presented. Voltage pantograph in HSR is more problematic
because of fast change of load and structure by trains
movement. [71] has utilised its proposed model to introduce a
generalized, multi rout, and efficient method to solve
complicated system of working HSR. In [72] a mathematical
work is done to estimate voltage unbalance due to HSR power
demands. Different main power supply and feeder connections
are considered and there potential to reduce unbalance is
compared. [90] has suggested a rigorous way to evaluate
voltage unbalance produced by single phase HSR application
on power system. This new methods results are compared
with traditionally formulas for unbalance estimation. In [90]
the case of Taiwan HSR is studied. Another study concerning
about unbalance estimation is presented in [91], which uses
dynamic load estimation (DLE) to predict railway produced
unbalance. In this way an algorithm is illustrated which is used
to estimate dynamic load of Taiwan HSR and then foresee
unbalance affect of this changing load. In [93] the regarding
power system (Taipower) which -due to geographical
situations- is a longitudinal power system is studied to extract
impact of HSR on such a power system.


The other challenge issue in electrical and diesel electric
railways is EMI. In other words railway engineers need to
make sure that their system is compatible with communication
systems either railways signalling system or other in close
proximity RF communicational systems. In addition rails may

be use as signalling conductors. Nevertheless rails may act as a

part of return path for power current. This multi application
makes a compatibility challenge which has a considerable
number of related papers. EMI is strongly related to earthing
methods because currents passing through earth connections
can be directed by high frequency harmonics and produce high
frequency electromagnetic fields.
In [60] electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of an
auxiliary power electronic converter for London under ground
trains is studied and results are presented. It has classified
EMC to these subtitles:
1) Signalling interface
2) Magnetic fields
3) Telephone interface
4) Radiated RF (radio frequency) emissions
5) RFI (radio frequency interface) Immunity
The source of EMI is power converters on vehicle board.
This research tries quantizing EMI and EMC in proposed
underground railway. In [36] earthing and bounding of ERs
are studied. Different structures of 25kV and 2x25kV AC
railway feeders are presented and concept of earthing is
discussed regarding to them. Then DC railway feeders are
premeditated and their practical earthing and bonding
strategies are presented. At the end earthing in depots is
addressed, which is most the challenging problem in earthing
engineering, Because safety, corrosion, operational and
technical requirements have to be satisfied by earthing in this
[21] is about signalling and inter locking in railways
which are concerned about two traffic control issues. Firstly to
keep safe distance between two trains running in same rail,
secondly traffic controlling in intersections and junctions. The
safe distance depends on trains dynamic state and rails
situation, so it should be sensed correctly. [22] is explains
about train detection in details. Related communication and
supervision is discussed as well. [23] is focused on EMC in
both approaches of disturbance source and equipments
vulnerability. Some potential problems caused by EMC are
mentioned in [23]:
1) Interference to safety signalling systems from power
electronic traction vehicles.
2) Interference between AC and DC traction electrification
railway systems.
3) Safety hazard due to electrical voltage induction on metal
fences near the track.
[23] Has categorized EMI in railways to internal, outgoing and
It is followed by some general strategies to alleviate EMI
produced in traction system [24]:
1) Frequency departure of traction power and trains
signalling system.
2) Appropriate cable screening, termination and positioning
for inductive interference reduction.
3) Suppression of arcs drawn by traction power current
collection systems to reduce RF interference.
[24] Continues accurate mathematical calculation to
attain EMI vulnerabilities of railway system related to traction
system. There are more general and concentrated papers in

signalling ex. [100] is around British Railways history in
signalling technologies. [101] is an early survey on signalling
systems, Which has theorized signalling and listed common
purposes of signalling ex. speed increasing, reduction of
distance between trains and so increasing rail capacity. [102]
has suggested formal mathematical methods to specify and
design railway signalling schemes.
When the case is mass transit railway systems, signalling
strategy can contribute in concepts of power and energy
management. For ex. starting time of multiple running trains
which are supplied by same power network has considerable
effects on peak power demand. Regarding to mass transit
railway systems [103] has suggested generic algorithm to
optimize traffic.
[104] has explained a heavy traffic light train railway from
the signalling point of view. The main obligation is to arrange
signalling in a way that trains can keep moving and interrupts
be eliminated. The innovation suggested in this paper is to use
separated communication system to locate moving trains by
data transfer between train and a parallel installed
communication system. Traditionally partitioned rails were
used to detect moving trains positions, as accurate as
shortness of each rail partition. To compare abovementioned
train detection systems with recently proposed systems, [105]
can be mentioned which considers application of GPS for
signalling and train position detection. At last [106] and [87]
are explaining technical aspects about application of satellite
in railway signalling and navigation. To have a broader
approach to railway system compatibility concept [52] is
worthy to be reviewed. It covers all of probable compatibility
problems including EMI.


As mentioned in train systems classification there are some
voltage sources which are used based on trains exact
application (Appendix I). Concentrating on input voltage,
source railways can be categorized as below:
The main advantage of DC traction system is simplicity in
control. DC voltage supplied ERs can be split in two
approaches. Firstly voltage level of the feeders and secondly
the measure which is used to feed the train. Standard DC
voltage levels under load over the world are 600 VDC, 750
VDC, 1500 VDC, 3000VDC. There are some non-standard
voltage levels as well. (Appendix)
In another approach DC ERs can be classified in which
main DC power supply is connected to trains. Overhead line
system and Conductor rail system is main sub categories which
can be manufactured in different schemes. Although the feeder
structure for voltage level of 3000VDC and more is limited to
overhead lines. DC voltage supplied railway systems are
recommendable for low power applications. Higher DC
voltages for higher power railway application are not practical
because of insulation and clearance restrictions. The power

system interface of DC feeder systems is limited to some

harmonics injected to power system at substations that can be
attenuated by appropriate filters. The other problem with DC
railway supply system is ground return current that may be
cause of corrosion.
standard AC voltage supply for ERs are 25 kV, 50 Hz which suppose to dominate Europe railways as a regional
standard to unify European railway system [8] [7] [28] [6] [4]or 25 kV, 60 Hz for countries with 60 Hz power system ex.
Japan, US and 15kV, 16.7Hz in Germany, Austria and
Scandinavia- and 50kV 50/60 Hz or 2x25kV [94], 50/60 Hz
using auto transformers for very high power applications- all
installed as overhead single phase lines. Due to less insulation
restriction with higher frequency, much higher voltage level is
feasible in AC power transmission to trains, leading to
remarkable reduction in power lose.
The other subcategory of AC supplied railways is those
which are working with a lesser frequency than main
networks. Low frequencies systems like 25kV/12.5kV and
25Hz, 16.5kV and 16.7Hz, and 25kV/15kV and 15Hz have the
advantage of lower inductive lose in comparison with standard
frequencies of 60/50Hz [29].
Distance between substations and power of each substation
depending on trains load, speed and catenary characteristics
varies among 20 to 80 miles. Basically the higher feeder
voltage the longer distance between substations is allowed.
multi voltage traction systems are designed to remove the need
of locomotive change when voltage level changes [61].
C. Diesel
The much more different category of trains those are using
electric motors for traction is diesel electric trains that use
diesel engine as primary power supply and then rotating an
electrical machine that produces electrical power for electrical
traction motor. This sort of train has no counterpart when it
comes to long enough distances application, when
electrification is not economic due to its costly infrastructure
requirements. The main problem of diesel electric railways is
primary source of energy that is ,unlike ERs, limited to some
fossil fuels usable on exhaustion engine on board, so efficiency
is an important aspect about diesel electric trains because
contrasting ERs there is not much opportunity for energy
regeneration in cases of braking or down hill running. A
majority of studies in this way are trying to apply an energy
storage equipment to have some temporary places for
regenerative braking and more efficient and less polluting
performance of diesel electric train.
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realized rail vehicle that employs SuperCaps as lone power



In electrified as well as diesel electric rail energy efficiency
and pollution reduction are strongly coupled and important
issues. There are some methods to save energy in railway
systems which are addressed in [25] and [62]:
1) Reduction of braking losses by optimized driving.
2) Optimization of speed profile
3) Avoiding rout conflicts to keep optimal speed.
4) Tuning time tables in ER to fit nearby trains to exchange
5) Optimization of power chain.
6) Devising smarter and more efficient auxiliary equipment.
7) Automatic railways, which allows optimization of
transportation as a whole.
8) Vehicle structure optimization.
9) Eergy recovery and storage:
The last one is studied more. When it is about ERs,
depending on other trains dynamic situations a certain
decelerating (down-hill running) trains kinetic energy can be
transferred to another accelerating (up-hill running) one. This
approach is deeply limited to railway supply power system
structure and trains position, so can not increase efficiency
more than a few percents. However this method faces more
problems in DC supplied lines due to incapable rectifiers. The
other general lack of this approach is energy loss in feeder
lines when it is transmitted between trains. This deficiency
increases by voltage level of feeders reduction. The other
approach is based on energy storage modules. Some papers are
reviewed to assess this concept:
A. Hybrid trains
In [1] a diesel traction system has been upgraded with
storage battery. Battery is managed to store brake energy and
reuse it for acceleration periods and to stabilize the auxiliary
power converter DC link (Fig 4 from [1]). In other words
energy storage module decouples power produced by diesel
engine and the power consumed by traction motor and
auxiliary power, by storing and reusing energy. In addition,
mentioned decoupling between diesel engine and electric
motor allows the engine speed to be controlled irrespective of
the train speed; instead it can be set to increase fuel
consumption efficiency by working on an optimum point. [96]
is focusing on battery application on hybrid trains from various
angles: tractive effort, power, economics, and etc. In [45]
Hitachi prototype of a hybrid train manufactured by employing
a 10 kWh battery as energy storage device is introduced. In
conclusion future adventures of purely battery powered trains
or trains which their diesel engine is replaced by fuel cell or
other environmental friendly energies are named. To mention
realized examples, [97] can be named which explains about a
photovoltaic energy supported funicular installed in Leghorn,
Italy. Or [95] which is referencing to an experimentally

Fig. 4 a typical configuration of hybrid vehicle system

In [2] another diesel electric locomotive efficiency has

improved by means of a SuperCap. Same structure and two
approaches in [1] are considered in [2], except battery is
replaced by SuperCap. Ideally, if there be sufficient energy
storage, the suggested structure can remarkably reduce engine
rating. SuperCaps have their limitations and their situation
along working should be monitored to keep them within
healthy condition [98]. [30] has mentioned some other
advantage of energy storage capability in railway systems.
Such as:
Substations can be established farer
More trains can move on a given feeder system.
Running in limited areas of electrical railway without
catenary. Running with switched off diesel engine in highly
polluted areas for diesel.
Reducing travelling time or CO2 emission.
A comparison between battery and supper capacitor usage is
presented as well. In addition [30] has considered SuperCaps
potential as a booster of power in acceleration or up hill
running modes. The main problem with braking recuperation
is non-ideal energy storage units which mean rather low energy
capacity for Super Capacitor (SuperCap) or not enough power
rating for batteries. Here the idea of combining batteries and
SuperCaps to cover their shortages comes along. In [32]
SuperCaps and batteries are applied to achieve mentioned
advantages with an enhanced performance in addition to
smoother and more efficient application of both battery and
SuperCap. High power capacity of SuperCap is used to release
battery from peak power. This has economical promote of
increasing costly batterys life time. On the other hand high
energy density batteries are used and need for high energy
storage in SuperCaps is removed, which means another cost
reduction in construction stage. In [54] a state of art hybrid
train is presented in which battery or flywheel is implemented
to cooperate with a fuel cell as prime energy source. [54]
concludes that the most suitable train for regenerative braking
are long distance intercity commuters. And the least likely to
profit hybrid traction are high speed and heavy cargo
operations. In part one; it is focused on middle distance
transport with diesel base hybrid locomotives. In part two; fuel
cell instead of diesel- application in passenger transport is

under study. [59] focuses on dynamic brake energy
recuperation on North American freight locomotives. It
suggests hybridisation for a rout that has two characteristics: it
contains 25 miles long down grade and it has a heavy traffic of
about 80 traversing trains a day. [73] and [99] has approached
Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) and
battery energy storage combination as a load levelling device.
Simultaneous application of SMES and battery is optimized to
increase life cycle of both. Another optimization in [77] is
undertaken to minimize volume of storage unit. In [99] SMES
is connected to feeders unlike [73] and [77]. (Fig 5 from [77])


Overhead Line

Fig 5: SMES application in electrified railway


A. Traction
A part of traction system related papers are about traction
motors. Other important part is power converter which is
strongly related to power electronic availabilities [38].
[18] and [19] are two first parts of R.J. Hills tutorial papers
which are about DC and AC machines as traction motors
respectively. In [18] General mechanical equations describing
train masss behaviour is presented at first. Then the drive
characteristics are presented. Different modes of operation for
DC traction motor motoring, resistive braking and
regenerative braking- are discussed. In [19] Practical
advantages of induction motor have made it attractive for
harsh application of railways. Drives applied for AC traction
motors are presented. In [20] Different categories of DC and
AC motor motivated trains in British railways are compared in
different views of working environment, power/weight ratio,
motor make up, mounting methods, cooling problems, etc. In
[42] a sensor less control system for an induction motor for
railway traction system is presented. Rotor speed in this
system is estimated by electrical measured quantities.
Elimination of rheostatic steps for speeding and braking has
improved movement smoothness and thereby passenger
comfort. In [39] some power electronic circuits for traction

application either in electrified or in diesel electric systems are

presented. Fundamental information of this paper can be
useful. Other reviewed papers which utilize early power
electronic equipment are [40] and [57]. [15] is explaining a
diesel electric train serving in Indonesia.
[41] Has improved traction system to act as reactive power
compensator. To achieve optimal result a central control
system dictates each trains reactive power to minimize power
loss along the line. [46] is a general paper which covers power
electronics enhancements which are interesting for traction
application. It has focused on a comparison between IGBT and
IGCT at last. [43] introduces new generation of IGBT switches
tailored for traction. The presented IGBTs are employed in an
experimental trains traction system. [44] has concentrated on
AC/DC and DC/AC converters in HSR traction application. It
has suggested a modular topology to supply multiple induction
motors with multi level modulation satisfactorily. For auxiliary
power an extra transformer winding is devoted. [47]
introducing a tram traction system which aims to reduce the
energy consumptions in addition to increased safeness and
travellers comfort. The tram is running in Croatia and results
are experimental. In [50] a vector controlled tram traction
system is presented and manipulated. Regenerative braking is
considered for [47] and [50]. [63] is a vector control induction
motor study realized for traction application. [75] presents a
control system for motor suppling power electronic circuit,
which suppose to feed traction motor without a regulated DC
link. [84] analyses traction system as a whole including
inverter, rectifier, and contactor and DC traction motor.
B. Auxiliary systems
[9] is IEEE standard for passenger train auxiliary power
systems interface, which describes auxiliary power
requirements as a standard. [11] and [53] are technical papers
which list considerations required in auxiliary power design to
satisfy railway operators requirements. In [10] auxiliary
power configuration in whole train combined of motor cars
and passenger cars is explained. In [12] a novel power control
method suitable for auxiliary power supply system is
presented, which targets to achieve high reliability by
redundancy. It keeps power factor of auxiliary converters high.
To avoid circulating currents between Auxiliary power
converters, one of them is controlling its power factor and
others obey it. In [13] the new topology of full-bridge threephase isolated DC/DC converter is suggested. The input DC
voltage is inverted to three-phase AC and then is rectified by a
full-bridge rectifier. A new type of multi level DC/DC
converter designed for auxiliary power supply application is
proposed in [82]. The proposed converter is based on half
bridge converter. [55] suggests some ideas to have more
effective and efficient auxiliary equipments. Like fibre optic
application in rolling stock (realized in [35] as well), smart
battery and charger control methods, etc.
[58] Introduces a specific prototype of auxiliary power
supply system, which has applied IGBT as high power

switches. In [81] an adaptive inverse model controller is
devised to compensate non-linearity and imperfections of
components. Switching strategy is a modified PWM to adapt
duty cycle with nonlinear and non-ideal system.
In [83] a two-switch high frequency flyback converter is
developed to achieve ZVS. A few modules of proposed
converter can be paralleled for higher power. The input
voltage of dc/dc converter in [83] is obtained from a fuel cell.
The characteristic of this circuit is the application of energy
transfer from leakage inductance of transformer. Due to the
fact that auxiliary power despite of input voltage fluctuation
has to provide a regulated voltage at output, some papers
around this purpose reviewed:
In [85] a phase modulated full-bridge converter is improved
to decrease output voltage harmonics and enhance it to show
more robustness against input voltage fluctuation. In [86] a
ZVS multi level resonant converter is proposed as well as [85]
phase shift modulation is utilized. For ZVS, leakage
inductance of transformer is brought into play. In [88] a novel
AC three phase input DC output converter is introduced. The
previous circuit that the new one is based on is a three parallel
full bridge rectifiers followed by buck-boost converters, which
proposed paper has merged rectifiers together and uses a
single buck boost converter. [89] has presented a new scheme
for switching which decouples gate switching voltages from
input voltage, and then it is a desirable configuration for
situations with varying input voltage.

There are different power systems for energy distribution in
ERs and different problems to be solved in railway systems.
They are namely, power balance and quality, EMC, and
satisfactory auxiliary power. Active filters and more robust
and flexible power systems are general solutions to power
system problems. More accurately designed power electronics
devices are the solution for EMI problem. These solutions
briefly but widely are explained here.

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