Technical Reports

STARS AC Propulsion Project

  • 01
  • Dec
  • 1985
AUTHOR: Westinghouse Electric Corporation - Transportation Divsion
SUBJECT: Evaluation
KEYWORDS: GTO Thyristor Inverter, AC Induction Motor, Railroad Technology
ABSTRACT: This report describes the design, manufacture and testing of a propulsion system for passenger rail application utilizing a variable-voltage, variable-frequency (VWF) inverter and a squirrel cage induction motor, along with associated microprocessor control circuitry. Novel developments in this propulsion system include the use of gate turn-off thyristors (GTO's); advanced semiconductor cooling methods; and, multiple microprocessor, direct digital control. The rationale behind this development includes several factors: reduced maintenance and improved reliability associated with brushless AC motors-and solid state electronics; improved energy efficiency due to elimination of series resistors; and high regeneration capability, further reducing energy usage. A net reduction in life cycle cost is predicted due to these factors when compared with conventional cam-controlled, series resistance DC propulsion systems. The report describes the six candidate systems studied, and explains the selection and design of the chosen system. Test data from a full scale laboratory model is included, along with studies of reliability, maintainability, safety, energy usage and life cycle cost.