Railways use an extensive amount of power and this is why it is so important to have the right equipment on board for regulating the power supply for heavy and light rail applications.
A typical railway electrification system uses an alternating current (AC) power supply. The voltage used can range from 1,000 volts (V) direct current (DC) to 25,000 V AC at 50 hertz (Hz). The power supplied to the train is converted to direct current (DC) by onboard equipment and used to run the motors that propel the train.
There are a few different types of electrical circuits that can be used in rail systems, but the most common is the single-phase circuit. This type of circuit uses one conductor to supply power to the train. The current in this conductor alternates between positive and negative values, which creates a rotating magnetic field. This rotating field interacts with the armature winding of the electric motor, causing it to rotate.
Another type of electrical circuit that can be used is the three-phase circuit. This type of circuit uses three conductors to supply power to the train. The currents in these conductors are offset from each other by one-third of a cycle, which creates a rotating magnetic field. This rotating field interacts with the armature winding of the electric motor, causing it to rotate.
The advantage of using a three-phase system is that it produces less electromagnetic interference than a single-phase system. This is because the three currents cancel out each other’s magnetic fields, resulting in a smaller net magnetic field.
The main disadvantage of using a three-phase system is that it requires more expensive equipment than a single-phase system. This is because the three-phase system requires three transformers, instead of just one transformer for the single-phase system.
No matter what circuit system is in place, any train also has a series of monitors and sensors in place that are constantly checking the status of the equipment. These help to ensure that the power supplied to the train is at the correct voltage and frequency and that there are no disruptions in the supply of power.
If you are interested in safety equipment or engineering components for light or heavy rail applications, contact the experts at Swartz engineering today for more!
For nearly half a century, Swartz Engineering has been at the forefront of industry safety. They are a family-owned company specializing in power distribution for the electrical industry. They are the leading manufacturer of Portable Electrical Substations.