Siemens Mobility Avenio tram in München.

Photos: Stadtwerke München

GERMANY: A ‘sharp’ reduction in motor noise and a 10% drop in energy consumption were observed during a year-long test of Infineon Technologies silicon carbide power semiconductors in one of the two traction converters fitted to a Siemens Mobility Avenio tram in München.

Muenchen SiC tram Infineon

Photos: Infineon Technologies

The tram covered 65 000 km during the in-service testing programme, which was undertaken as part of the Shift2Rail funded PINTA research and development project. This is intended to help integrate SiC power semiconductors into rail vehicles in order to lower life-cycle costs. SiC semiconductors are already used across a range of industrial sectors, including electric cars.

The PINTA partners are now looking at the use of SiC on tram-train vehicles.

‘The energy-saving potential found by the test clearly demonstrates the energy efficiency of this promising technology that is designed for use in all types of trains’, said Albrecht Neumann, CEO of Rolling Stock at Siemens Mobility.

Ingo Wortmann, Head of Mobility at Stadtwerke München, said ‘one factor plays a key role in the acceptance of trams – particularly in terms of new construction projects: our vehicles must be as quiet as possible while in service. The project conducted with Siemens shows that we can not only optimise the noise levels of our vehicles but also improve our energy efficiency. We would be very interested in this solution if these improvements could be commercially mass-produced.’