You are on page 1of 1

Optimal Train Movement for Minimum Energy Consumption

Authors: Panagiotis Gkortzas 1, Kevin Babr 2, Nima Ghaviha 3, Erik Dahlquist 4 1 Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna Sweden, School of Inovation Design and Engineering 2 Bombardier Transportation, Västerås Sweden, email: 3Mälardalen University, Västerås Sweden, School Business Society and Engineering, email: 4 Mälardalen University, Västerås Sweden, School Business Society and Engineering, email:

In this project the energy consumption in trains is to be studied. The aim will be to plan train movement in order to minimize the energy consumption and also minimize the time. In other words we are looking for an optimal speed profile for a train in during a specific trip. So far there have been different solutions for this problem, but they are mostly offline solutions. Offline solutions shall give a speed profile at the beginning of the trip, which will obviously overlook random parameters that might change during the trip. In this project we will look for an online solution that will respond to any changes or disturbances during the trip. The final aim of the project will be to design an online advisory system for train drivers that will lead to minimum energy consumption and also a minimized trip time. The project is commissioned by Bombardier Railway Västerås.

The problem of designing an energy efficient control system for trains can be seen as an optimal control theory problem. The conventional way of solving these kinds of problems is using discrete dynamic programming which is the current approach that is being used in this project. Most of the solutions offered are online solutions which require a huge amount of computation. The result of this algorithm is a multi-dimensional matrix with all the possible positions during the trip. Every cell in the matrix includes the optimal control decision for the train in order to minimize the energy in the respective position. In other words the calculations are all done offline and only the matrix will be used during the trip. So far a solution is offered for a simplified version of the problem using MATLAB programming language. In the simplified problem it is assumed that the trip is about 1 km long and there are neither curves nor different elevations during the trip.

The results achieved for the simplified problem using the current DP approach are as follows. (each state is defined by three attributes which are Time, Position and Velocity)

New Features and Challenges The features that are to be added are as follows: • Different elevations during the trips • Different curves during the trips • Several stations and stops • The weight of the train may also vary during the trip, which is because of the number of passengers or amount of goods on the train. This project is a part of a bigger time project by Bombardier to install batteries on trains and run the trains with only batteries as the source of energy. The challenges facing us are to find the best battery solution for trains and how to integrate the dimensions of the battery in the program.

Train advisory system As the result of this project is mainly an optimized driving style with the aim of minimizing the energy consumption, this program can be used as a train advisory system for the drivers. Further it can be used in driverless trains. Different types of trains • Conventional electric trains. • The program will be developed for the electric trains, however with some adjustments it can be used for the diesel trains. • Battery trains. Currently the Bombardier is working on a project with the aim of using batteries in electric trains. It is planned to design a train and run it between two stations in UK using only battery. The program that shall be developed during this PhD work shall be later on used for optimizing the energy consumption and therefore optimizing the use of batteries. • The algorithm used in this project may also be implemented in other vehicles e.g. heavy vehicles or trucks.

Panagiotis Gkortzas, Study on optimal train movement for minimum energy consumption , Mälardalen University, Master Thesis report, 2013