Technical Reports

Flywheel Energy Storage Switcher Volume I -- Study Summary and Detailed Description of Analysis

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 1979
KEYWORDS: Transportation; Railroads; Energy Storage; Flywheels; Regenerative braking; Energy consumption; Flatyards
ABSTRACT: An in depth study of the application of flywheel energy storage to the railroad switchyard locomotive was conducted to determine the practicality and viability of such a system. The system, as originally conceived, required the use of separately excited fraction motors, and a major task of the study was t o test separately excited version of the Electro-Motive Division's D77 traction motor. The attractiveness of the system is very dependent on the operational scenario of the switching locomotive. Therefore, the study examined the operation of locomotives at three flatyards: Dillard (Southern Railway System), Baldwin (Seaboard Coast Line), and Whitefish (Burlington Northern), Also, a large amount of data concerning the operating environment of switching locomotives was collected, It was concluded early in the study that a boxcar was required to carry the energy storage unit because no room existed on the locomotive. This, combined with the increased auxiliary load, results in the same energy consumption with or without the FESS system, for a typical flatyard operation in spite of the energy recuperated and reused. Brake maintenance savings, although significant, are not sufficient to give an attractive return on investment.