Eurotunnel’s new electric grid solution enables 60 per cent more trains
Following five years of research and and investment of 45 million euros, Eurotunnel commissioned the world’s most powerful STATCOM system in a railway environment this week. Developed by GE together with Eurostar, this static compensator will improve the stability of the electrical network, which in turn can facilitate extra traffic through the tunnel connecting the UK to mainland Europe.
The solution stabilises the voltage of the power network, a major problem for power systems says developer GE. The stabilisation is achieved through the system’s ability to either absorb or generate reactive power in synchronisation with demand. The STATCOM static compensator has so-called VSC technology, and will double the reactive compensation power in the Channel Tunnel. Reactive power compensation means, among other things, a reduction in energy losses.
Other benefits in addition to stability and improvement of voltage include the increase of the transport and operation capacity of lines. For the Eurotunnel it means that up to 16 trains can use the tunnel simultaneously, which translates to a maximum of 1,000 trains per day, tunnel operator Getlink writes. This would mean a 60-per cent increase in maximum capacity.
In short, with the STATCOM system Eurotunnel can now put in the foundation for future growth. This of course ties in with the stated goal of the Eurostar Group, which makes use of the tunnel, to carry 30 million passengers per year by 2030.
“This state-of-the-art technological system reinforces the reliability and capacity of our infrastructure and ensures optimal operational performance for our customers 24/7”, Nicolas Brossier, Engineering & Projects Director of Eurotunnel, said.
“Providing a stable and consistent flow of electricity to this vital link is critical”, added Johan Bindele, Grid Systems Integration Business Leader, GE Grid Solutions.
Same, the needed at basic, at track structure, has to be provided!
(There, amplitude of dynamic forces imposed, by system, is high, too high – and unlimited…)
Not sustainably, a “deed of necessity” has been established, the “optimal maintenance” – the attending maintenance (repairing…) strategy.
Accordingly, now broken rails…, by far, is most frequent single cause of derailments… ( Apart of corrugation, now “squats”, cracks, are left to be attended by frequent grinding, etc.)