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Railway Electrification

Technology

Train Electrification
 Energy from outside car, better power ratio per
weight
 Energy from various source (water, fire, nuclear,
solar, wind, etc.)
 High efficiency
 Regenerative break for improved energy
consumption
 No exhaust
 Maintainability

AC vs DC Current / Voltage
AC:
 Electrons flow in alternate direction; backwards and
forwards
 Transmitted economically over long distance
DC:
 Electrons flow is steady and unidirectional
 1.4 times more efficient as compared to AC sine wave
form

AC vs DC Feed for Traction Power
DC requires rectifier transformers in the
substations for conversion. DC power is fed
into a conductor rail along the side of the
running rails.
AC power supplied directly from substations.
AC power is fed into the overhead catenary
lines through pantograph.

AC
Pros

Reduced cost of power supply equipment

Efficient over long distance

Utilising energy from braking more effectively

Cons

Prone to failure

Potential electromagnetic interference and impact of magnetic fields by properties and
activities to overhead lines

Requires additional special features such as return conductors or booster transformers to minimize
magnetic fields impacts.

Regular maintenance

Expensive for underground section as it requires larger tunnel profile

DC
Pros
 Eradicate the impact of electromagnetic interference on electrical components
 Reduced maintenance cost, only requires inspection and cleaning
 Longer life span due to durability
 High reliability as it feeds on both sides by rectifiers from substations
 Lower initial costs
 No transformers installed on board, higher capacity for passengers
Cons
 Expensive as rectifier transformer is required
 Restricted speed
 Stray current corrosion

Overview
AC more suited to intercity high speed rail.

DC more suited to commuter metro,
particularly with underground sections
such as KVMRT.