Metro in Istanbul saves energy with the ENVILINE ERS system developed at ABB in Poland

2017-03-09 - An innovative system for recovery of train braking energy produced at ABB in Aleksandrów Łódzki, Poland, has been operating for a few months at the Metro in Istanbul. This solution produces significant savings on a daily basis.



Istanbul, a city with nearly 15 million people, containing almost a fifth of the population in Turkey, is home to one of the largest railway transportation systems in all of Europe. The city authorities want to enlarge this railway system of 489 km in 2019 and to be twice as big in 2023. With investments of such a grand scale, it is crucial to utilise not only reliable, but more energy-efficient solutions as well.

One of these solutions, ENVILINE ERS wayside Energy Recuperation System, has been installed on an extended metro line M2 which is used by over 450,000 passengers daily, connecting the northern and southern-central part of the city and crossing the inlet of the Bosphorus. The system enables recovery of train braking energy by recycling it back to the AC network. Energy obtained in this manner can be used for metro auxiliary purposes, that is, for the supply of power to fans, air-conditioning and lighting systems. In this way, the total power consumed by the traction transportation system can be reduced by as much as 30%.

“The system has been installed and commissioned without any problems and runs on an automatic basis. We have prepared the additional option of remotely switching on/off the application as needed for maintenance purposes. In general, our system saves energy at a level of 1-3 MWh daily, which is a very noteworthy accomplishment” – says Artur Kucybała, ABB Local Product Group Manager Traction Converters.

For comparison an average resident of Turkey consumes 3 MWh of electricity in the period of 12-13 months.

ENVILINE ERS is a new product in ABB line which has been designed by scientists from the ABB Corporate Research Center (CRC) in Kraków with the assistance of engineers from Aleksandrów Łódzki where the company has its centre of manufacturing and competence for power electronics.

“At the beginning, we checked market demand and requirements which had to be met by the system in order to attract end customers. In the case of the ERS inverter, the most important requirement was energy savings which translated into the client’s return on investment after two, three years of operation, as well as a durability which would enable an uninterrupted operation for up to 25 years” – explains Patrycjusz Antoniewicz from CRC in Kraków.

A prototype designed in Kraków was manufactured at the facility in Aleksandrów Łódzki where it passed preliminary testing. In 2013, the installation was transported to the tramline substation in Łódź, Poland, where its first pilot installation took place. After a few months of testing, which proved the effectiveness of the solution, the unit was returned to the research centre in Kraków. There, final tests were performed, and preparations were made for the next pilot run which took place in Istanbul.

Since last year, this product has been widely offered at ABB for the transportation and infrastructure sector. The unit in Aleksandrów Łódzki is primarily responsible for its sale, production, supply and commissioning worldwide.

ENVILINE ERS is a ready to go, serial product. However, it can also be ordered with modifications according to the customer’s special requirements. Changes referring to the control system, for example, are implemented by both the engineers from Aleksandrów Łódzki and the CRC in Kraków. The increasing importance of effective and ecological urban transportation brings a great interest amongst the operators of the system which saves energy recycled from braking vehicles. Currently, discussions are in progress with potential clients over subsequent deliveries of this innovative system.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 132,000 employees. www.abb.pl

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