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Power without overhead lines

7/23/2018 | Words: Lucie Maluck | Pictures: MTU


Use the brakes to cut up to fuel by 25% and protect the environment. Accelerate faster and travel more quietly. That basically sums up the MTU Hybrid PowerPack. 

The MTU Hybrid PowerPack marries a conventional diesel engine with an electric unit that functions both as an electric motor and a generator. During braking, the unit acts as a regenerative braking system to recover energy initially generated by the diesel engine as kinetic energy. The energy recovered is fed to a battery, the MTU EnergyPack, where it is chemically stored ready to power the vehicle whenever the train needs to travel quietly or accelerate quickly. MTU supplies both the hybrid drive system and MTU-tailored power electronics together with a highly sophisticated drive control system.

Flexible installation and application
Versatile installation characteristics and compact design mean the Hybrid PowerPack is ideal for newly developed vehicles as well as for repowering existing units. In conjunction with a current collector, the Hybrid PowerPack can also be used to create a trimodal drive system because the electric drive and motor are already in place. This extends the range of possibilities available to operators and enhances vehicle value retention as electrification programs are rolled out.

?Precision calculation of life-cycle costs
“Depending on the routes involved, amortization for the hybrid drive averages three to five years,” said Dragan Nedic, MTU Rail Sales specialist. MTU can pinpoint the exact number of years for each scenario using simulation tools and a hardware-in-the-loop test stand. The technology allows MTU engineers to run the MTU Hybrid PowerPack using real timetables and actual routes reflecting real topography. As a result, data on the vehicle and route profiles can be used to calculate life-cycle costs and identify the concept best suited to the operator’s needs in advance. The MTU Hybrid PowerPack has already demonstrated its practical benefits on the test stand and these were confirmed under actual working conditions when a Hybrid PowerPack test unit completed trials over 15,000 kilometers in a Deutche Bahn Type VT 642 railcar. The trials were initially run by Deutsche Bahn and later taken over by MTU. “The trials verified that operators can make fuel savings of up to 25% with our hybrid drive,” said Nedic. 

Complete and balanced concept
Going forward, the Hybrid PowerPack clearly provides a future-oriented version of the MTU PowerPack that has established its credentials for success over the last 20 years. These are compact drive systems incorporating both engine and power transmission units as well as all the subsidiary systems, from cooling to exhaust aftertreatment, needed to operate the vehicle. 20 years ago, MTU was the first provider worldwide to develop the concept. Since then, more than 6,500 PowerPacks have gone into operation with rail customers around the globe.

The content of the stories reflects the status as of the respective date of publication. They are not updated. Further developments are therefore not taken into account.

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