Innovation award for Deutsche Bahn, mtu and hybrid railcar
Posted on 26 March 2013
A hybrid-powered regional train has earned Deutsche Bahn AG and Tognum subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH an award for innovation from the German rail journal Privatbahn-Magazin.
mtu´s new hybrid Powerpack uses a generator to convert the kinetic energy produced during braking into electric energy. This is then stored in batteries which can be drawn on to power operation as and when needed. The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by up to 25%.
The undertaking was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) as part of the Model Regions and Electromobility project which is coordinated by NOW GmbH (National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology). Official confirmation of a grant of €1.9 million for development of the hybrid drive for regional rail applications had previously been given to the two companies by the German Federal Ministry of Transport at InnoTrans 2010.
Hybrid technology is not the only area where the project aims to make a contribution on the environmental front. The vehicle has also been fitted with an environmentally-friendly CO2 air-conditioning system which is expected to cut energy consumption by up to 10%. Conversion work took place at DB’s vehicle maintenance facility in Kassel and the vehicle is currently undergoing tests and trials required for approval by the German Federal Railway Authority (EBA). The railcar is due to go into service on the non-electrified route between Aschaffenburg and Miltenberg in Bavaria where short distances between stations and frequent starting and stopping will maximize the benefits available from the hybrid drive system.