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2012 International Conference on Future Electrical Power and Energy Systems

Lecture Notes in Information Technology, Vol.9

Line Voltage Stabilization of Urban Railway Based on Super-capacitor

and Bidirectional DCDC Converter
Chen Xiao-li
College of Urban Railway Transportation, Shanghai University of Engineering Science, Shanghai,
201620, China
Keywords: Urban railway transportation; regeneration braking; super-capacitor; Bidirectional
DC/DC converter; line voltage.

Abstract. In this paper, a line voltage stabilization method using super-capacitor and Bidirectional
DC/DC converter was presented. The method using super-capacitor and the conventional braking
resistance constitute a new braking unit to realize the regenerative energy recovery. During the
braking, braking energy will be stored in the super-capacitor by Bidirectional DC/DC converter
which works as a Buck topology. During start-up or acceleration, the super-capacitor discharge by
the same Bidirectional DC/DC converter which works as a Boost topology. The conventional braking
resistance will still keep in system to ensure the security. In order to validate the design and do further
research, the paper presents a mathematical model of the whole system, which include power supply
unit, traction motor unit, driven control unit, super-capacitor unit and Bidirectional DC/DC converter
unit etc.. The Bidirectional DC/DC converter is designed as half bridge configuration. The simulation
is done, the results of simulation is consistent with the experimental data. Based on the mathematical
model and simulation model, the further research such as energy efficiency analysis and advanced
control method study can be done.


Because of urban rail transportation vehicles frequent start-up, braking process, braking energy is
considerable. The improvement of traction electrical energy efficiency for urban rail vehicles has
been one of the primarily objective in recent years[1-2]. Statistics show that apart from certain
percentage energy (usually 20% ~30%) being absorbed by other adjacent train, the rest braking
energy is mainly consumed by braking resistance, which leads to both massive energy waste and
temperature increment in tunnel and platform[3].
Nowadays, the energy-saving technology for urban rail transportation is mainly focused on how to
carry out the regeneration braking energy recycling. A variety of methods have been proposed, such
as the use of inverter technology and the use of various energy storage devices (batteries,
super-capacitors[5-8], fly-wheel[4], hydraulic devices and so on). Considering the suburban application
conditions (starts and braking have duration of several seconds and require high electrical power),
super-capacitors are more suitable devices for the application on rail vehicles.
Although different technical solutions are proposed and substantial research has been done, there
are still many important problems that need to be addressed further. In this paper, a scheme of line
voltage stabilization was proposed which is based on the super-capacitor to save the braking energy.
The specialized Bidirectional DC/DC converter is used to realize the charge and discharge of
super-capacitor. As we known, when beginning to braking, kinetic energy will be feedback to
overhead line which will lead to too high voltage. During start-up or accelerations, greater currents
drawn by trains and imply greater voltage drops on the overhead line. Using the super-capacitor and
978-1-61275-005-7/10/$25.00 2012 IERI



Bidirectional DC/DC converter, the braking energy will be saved in the ultra capacitor during barking
process and will be discharged during the start-up or accelerations process. In order to validate the
design and do further research, based on the Matlab/Simulink software, the paper established the
dynamic model of the whole traction and braking system.
This paper is organized as follows. In Section II, the design of the ultra capacitor braking energy
recovery system is described. In Section III presents the key components mathematical model. In
Section IV, the simulation analysis is given.

Design of super-capacitor braking energy recovery system

As show in fig.1, based on the existing AC motor traction system, a set of super-capacitor array is
added in. the super-capacitor unit parallel to the conventional braking resistor, two power switches is
used to realize the switch between the super-capacitor and the braking resistor.


Fig. 1 principle of super-capacitor braking energy recovery system

When beginning to braking, the train stops the power supply from the overhead line. The motors
work as generators, converting the kinetic energy to electrical energy, resulting in brake
electromagnetic torque, slowing the train and energy feedback to the overhead line system at the
same time. The overhead line voltage will be too high if there is no other vehicle between two traction
substations. In conventional traction control system, resistance braking is necessary and braking
energy is consumed at the braking resistances by means of heat, the regenerative braking will not be
achieved. In the ultra capacitor braking energy recovery system, the braking energy is saved in the
ultra capacitor by a Bidirectional DC/DC converter which works as a Buck circuit. The energy flows
from the DC Bus to super-capacitor. When the capacity of stored energy components is less than the
rated capacity, the energy storage components will not stop being charged through the charging
circuit until they reach the rated capacity. The function of TCU is detect the state of super-capacitor,
when the super-capacitor can not accept energy any more for some reason, the TCU will switch the
braking energy recovery system to the braking resistance system to avoid regeneration failure. The
charge and discharge of super-capacitor are control by the auxiliary Control Unit (ACU).
During start-up or accelerations, greater currents drawn by trains and imply greater voltage drops
on the overhead line. If the super-capacitor full of energy, then the super-capacitor can supply some
currents that will stabilize the voltage of DC-line and reduce the peak power. The ACU detect the
capacity of the super-capacitor and determine whether the power has reached the threshold value. If
the capacity of the super-capacitor is enough, the super-capacitor will supply the power for inverter
by the Bidirectional DC/DC converter which works as a Boost circuit. The super-capacitor can


supply the power to the AC consumers and DC consumers (air-conditioning and lighting etc) through
a DC/DC converter and a DC/AC converter which control by ACU also.

Mathematical model

The whole traction system for urban railway transportation contained these key components (as show
in fig.1): power supply unit, traction motor, driven control unit, super-capacitor unit and Bidirectional
DC/DC converter unit etc..
A. Power supply model

The traction power supply system in general supplied by the city power grid to track traffic through
multi-level substation and rectifier devices, converts high-voltage AC to 1500V DC, which is used to
feed the inverter to drive AC traction motor.
B. Traction Motor model

AC induction motor is a multivariable, nonlinear, inter-dependent system. The stator has three
windings and the rotor can be equivalent to three windings too. The motor can be described with the
equations of voltage, the equations of torque and equations of movement.
Equation of voltage:

u abc = Rabc iabc + p abc .



uabc =[usa usb usc ura urb urc]T

transient phase voltage

iabc = [isa isb isc ira irb irc ]

transient phase current

Rabc = diag[Rs Rs Rs Rr Rr Rr ]

winding resistance

abc = [ sa sb sc ra rb rc ]

full magnetic flux

differential operator
Equation of torque:
Te = np Lm[(isaira +isbirb +iscirc )sin + (isairb +isbirc +iscira )sin( +1200 ) + (isairc +isbira +iscirb )sin( 1200 )]


Equation of movement:
J d
n p dt
Where, Te is the electromagnetic torque, TL is the load torque, J is moment of inertia, D is damp
coefficient, K is the torsion elasticity coefficient, is the rotor angular speed, np is number of pair of
poles, as for constant load, there is D=K=0
The model describe above is the physical model of the ac induction motor which represents the
relationship between the structure and parameters. Since the nonlinear and strong coupling, it is quite
difficult to solve these nonlinear equations, need the linear coordinate transform to decouple the angle
position relationship between stator and rotor.
Te = TL +

C. Driven control model

Vector control is design the control law for the simplified model which is obtained by linear
coordinate transform, then by the reverse transform, the real control variable (current and voltage)
were got. According to the public oriented coordinate, vector control is divided into: rotor flux
oriented, stator flux oriented and gas flux orient, in this paper, the rotor flux oriented vector control is


If using the stator currents components isd and isq to express the orientation flux and the equation of
the stator voltage, the voltage equation based on the rotor flux orientation coordinate system can be

u sd = Rs (1 + Ts p)i sd + L p rd 1 Ls i sq

u sq = Rs (1 + Ts p)i sq + m 1 rd + 1 Ls i sd


Where, the leakage flux coefficient is = 1

constant of rotor is Tr =


, time constant of stator is Ts =
, time
Ls L r

, is the electrical angular speed of oriented flux r is the rotor

electrical angular speed s is slip angular frequency.

Rotor flux and torque components of stator current can be expressed as:
i sq =
Tr rd s
rd =
Tr p + 1
Equation of torque:
Tem = m Pp rd i sq =
Pp rd2 s
2 Lr
2 Rr
Equations of movement:
Tem TL =
P r + D r

1 = r + s




D. Energy Relationship Model

If the n is the speed of motor(r/min) J and GD is the moment of inertia of the vehicles which
were converted into the motor(kgm2)then the kinetic energy of the motor and the vehicles is:
1 2n 2
) =
W = J 2 = J (
GD n 2
During the braking, speed decrease from n1 to n2 and released the kinetic energy
G D (n12 - n22 )
If supposed that all the kinetic energy of the mechanical system were convert into regenerative
energy of the DC side of the inverter, then:
1 2n 2
) =
WK = WE = J 2 = J (
GD n 2
For the urban railway vehicles, if the maximal DC-line voltage marked as Umax,, and the normal
voltage marked as Unom, the braking energy should be absorbed by braking unit expressed as
WS = W B =

G D n 2 C DC line (U max
U min
) = C sup C (U max
U min


Where, Ws is the braking energy saved by super-capacitor, WB is the energy need to be absorbed by
braking unit, CDC-line is the filter capacitor of the DC-line, Csup-C is the capacity of the super-capacitor.
E. Super-capacitor model


The selection of super-capacitor is decided by the charging and discharging time, braking period
and output power. The super-capacitor unit is made of many cells and these cells are assembled by
series and parallel connection. Let me supposed that a branch were composed of Nseries cells
connected in series, and Nparallel branches connected in parallel to form a set of super-capacitor unit.
The capacity of the super-capacitor unit described as:

C sup C =

C cell N parallel


N series

Equivalent resistance of the super-capacitor unit

Rsup C =

Rcell N series
N parallel


Where, Ccell is capacity of the cell, Rcell is resistance of the cell, Csup-C is capacity of the
super-capacitor unit, Rsup-C is resistance of the super-capacitor unit
According to the characteristic of the super-capacitor, the energy saved can be expressed as:
E = CsupC (U12 U 22 ) = CsupC (U12 (U1 ) 2 )
Where, U1 is the final charging voltage, U2 is the final discharging voltage, is discharging depth.
According to the braking energy which needed to be absorbed by braking unit, the capacity of
super-capacitor can be ascertain, and the number and connection mode of cells also can be
F. Bidirectional DC/DC Converter Model

The Bidirectional DC/DC converter is designed as high power half bridge configuration which is
formed by a buck and a boost circuit in anti-parallel connection, the main circuit topology shown in
Fig.2. The operation of the DC-DC converter can be divided into two modes, charging mode, and
discharging mode.




Connect to
super-capacitor C1



Connect to


Fig.2 Main circuit topology of

Bidirectional DC/DC converter

Fig.3 circuit topology of

charging mode

Fig.4 circuit topology of

discharging mode

The DC bus is high voltage end and the super-capacitor is the low voltage end. During the
charging mode, the Bidirectional DC/DC converter is operated as a buck converter and the power
flows from the DC bus to super-capacitor. While charging the power switch S1 and the freewheeling
diode D2 are at work, as shown in Fig.3. During the discharging mode, the Bidirectional DC/DC
converter is operated as a boost converter and the power flows from the super-capacitor to DC bus.
While discharging the power switch S2 and the freewheeling diode D1 are at work, as shown in Fig.4.
The voltage of high voltage end is determined by DC bus voltage, and the voltage of low voltage
end is determined by the connection structure of super-capacitor cells as it is mentioned before. Gate
control signals of power switch S1 and S2 are generated by the controller of bidirectional DC/DC.

Model and simulation


In accordance with the models built in above chapters, a simulation model was set up by using
Matlab/Simulink software. The operation accords with the general running speed curve including
accelerations, coasting and braking. Simulation results as show in Fig.5-Fig.6.
Fig.5 shows 3-phase AC Input voltage, current, speed and electromagnetic torque of traction
motor including five starts and stop processes. Fig.6 shows the voltage of DC bus and the charging
and discharging process of super-capacitor. From these simulation results, it can be summarized as
The scheme proposed in this paper is reasonable.
Mathematical and simulation model is correct.

Fig.5 Input voltage, current, speed and electromagnetic torque

Fig.6 the voltage of DC bus and the charging and discharging of super-capacitor

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