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Experimental assessment of the energy consumption of urban rail vehicles during stabling hours: influence of ambient temperature

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jonathan PowellORCiD, Dr Arturo Gonzalez Gil, Professor Roberto Palacin



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Urban rail has widely recognised potential to reduce congestion and air pollution in metropolitan areas, given its high capacity and environmental performance. Nevertheless, growing capacity demands and rising energy costs may call for significant energy efficiency improvements in such systems. Energy consumed by stabled rolling stock has been traditionally overlooked in the scientific literature in favour of analysing traction loads, which generally account for the largest share of this consumption. Thus, this paper presents the methodology and results of an experimental investigation that aimed to assess the energy use of stabled vehicles in the Tyne and Wear Metro system (UK). It is revealed that approximately 11% of the rolling stock's total energy consumption is due to the operation of on-board auxiliaries when stabled, and investigation of these loads is therefore a worthwhile exercise. Heating is responsible for the greatest portion of this energy, and an empirical correlation between ambient temperature and power drawn is given. This could prove useful for a preliminary evaluation of further energy saving measures in this area. Even though this investigation focused on a particular metro system in a relatively cold region, its methodology may also be valid for other urban and main line railways operating in different climate conditions

Publication metadata

Author(s): Powell JP, González-Gil A, Palacin R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Applied Thermal Engineering

Year: 2014

Volume: 66

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 541-547

Print publication date: 01/05/2014

Online publication date: 06/03/2014

Acceptance date: 21/02/2014

Date deposited: 22/09/2014

ISSN (print): 1359-4311

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5606

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2014.02.057


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