Regeneration—Potentially Powerful Stuff

by James W. Green, JKH Mobility Services, Inc, Houston, United States,

Abstract: Virtually all Automated People Movers (APMs) use electrical power for propulsion. Many designs also use electrical braking to augment any mechanical braking devices for decelerating trains. Certain technologies allow some of the energy available during train decelerations to be `regenerated' electrically to reduce the overall power and energy required to operate the system. For these technologies and selected applications, significant reductions in electrical consumption and wear of friction brakes can be obtained, resulting in improved reliability, lower initial capital cost, lower operating and maintenance costs, and reduced impacts on the environment. This paper presents an assessment of the prospects for significant regeneration benefits, including the basic concepts involved in power conversion, descriptions of the key technologies involved, the combinations of technologies that provide a `receptive line' for effective utilization of regeneration, the types of alignment, routing and power distribution configurations that lend themselves to effective regeneration, and the system engineering techniques available to optimize the timing of train operations for maximum regeneration benefits. Case study results are given for selected specific applications.

Subject Headings: Power supply | Energy conversion | People movers | Power transmission lines | Case studies | Automation

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