MANNHEIM Transport has started trials with on-board energy saving equipment developed by Bombardier. A light rail vehicle operated by MVV Verkehr AG has been fitted with the Mitrac Energy Saver, which captures regenerated braking energy and recycles it for use in subsequent acceleration. Put into revenue operation on September 5, the vehicle is being used to gather experience with the equipment in regular use.

Unlike other energy storage methods being examined in Germany and the UK, the Mitrac equipment does not rely on mechanical flywheel storage. Instead, each module comprises several hundred electric cells. As well as recycling braking energy, a pair of storage units could power a vehicle for up to 1 km in the event of any loss of external power supply.

According to the supplier, initial tests with the prototype have indicated that equipping the entire fleet would reduce the operator’s overall energy consumption by around 30%, and the peak requirement by up to 50%.

Bombardier Transportation, Germany

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