Canadian HEP vs U.S. HEP potential solutions

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  • Member since
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  • From: Dallas, TX
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Canadian HEP vs U.S. HEP potential solutions
Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, January 12, 2020 1:03 PM

So I was thinking about this more....

The use of HEP on any passenger train has to cyclical during the day and at night I would think the usage drops off.    Why not invest in some TESLA technology here and have the HEP locomotive charge a TESLA energy wall during off peak times and then drain it during the peak times.    Wouldn't this provide for more HEP during the day and allow potentially 2-3 more cars to be added to the consist?    The energy walls can probably easily fit in available space in a locomotive since they are designed to fit in most residential garages taking up a minimum of space.

As for the differences between Canadian and American HEP sounds like some undercar rewiring would be needed along with locomotive pass through wiring.    However, doesn't seem like a huge expense to make the U.S. system compatible.   I think the major expense if I remember correctly was the Canadian locomotives had an ancillary HEP suppy unit in each locomotive that does not draw down on the horsepower when running.   Whereas the Amtrak locomotives have it included in the main power plant and it does draw down on the horsepower rating when running.     So it seems to me the cheapest solution since Amtrak is buying new locomotives to start with would be to spec out to the ancillary Canadian system and just dual cable cars in pool service with VIA rail.

  • Member since
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  • From: Georgia USA SW of Atlanta
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, January 12, 2020 8:23 PM

Not needed now as all Amtrak new locos now ordered with 1000 kW capacity.  Older locos 600 kW or maybe even less in F-40s.  VIA split system allows 2 locos to split the load allowing for 30+ cars in a train ( Canadian ).

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Posted by D.Carleton on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 12:53 PM

I'm not sure what problem needs a solution here. So, just a few words about passenger train HEP: Whether the power is provided by an inverter, aux generator or separate plant they all effect overall fuel consumption. Energy storage systems are less efficient than generation systems and only make sense when there is a power surplus, i.e. solar power on a low demand day. Burning extra fuel for an energy storage bank isn't practical. Energy storage powered from a load rejection, i.e. dynamic brakes, makes sense on a large freight train but not a light passenger train.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 1:52 PM

I would argue that energy could make sense for passenger trains to offload prime mover derived HEP when accelerating or ascending Raton Pass. This would require somewhat of a different design that the Tesla PowerWall, with a higher peak output and shorter discharge time. Instead of being mounted on the locomotive, they can act as an UPS for individual passenger cars.

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