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Project information

Optimization of the electrical and mechanical design of the catenaries of high speed trains

L. Rouco A. Carnicero O. López-García E. Pilo

January 2003 - December 2005

Funding entity Ministerio de Fomento


The aim of this project is the optimization of both the electrical and mechanical aspects of the catenaries of high speed trains.
From the electrical point of view, the aim of the project is the development of computer programs that provide the optimal configuration of the electrical supply system of a high speed railway line. Not only the components of the catenary (conductors) will be determined, but also the electrical supply system (1x25kV, 2x25 kV), the number and location of the substation and autotransformers and the locations of the switches. The aim of the optimization is to find the least cost solution that fulfils the constraints set by the standards.
From the mechanical point of view, the aim of the project is the development of computer programs that provide the optimal configuration of the mechanical behavior of a high-speed railway line. Not only the sizing of droppers will be optimized but also the catenary geometry. Two sorts of optimizations are considered. On the one hand, the catenary configuration for a given speed will be found in order to minimize support stresses. On the other hand, a dropper configuration for a given structure will be obtained in order to maximize the train circulation speed.
The electrical and mechanical designs of a catenary are coupled since the catenary mechanical design implies some electrical properties. In particular, the conductor positions determine the value of their reactances, which are directly related to voltage drops. Moreover, the electrical design should consider only those catenaries which are valid from the mechanical and structural point of view. Therefore, once the separate electrical and mechanical designs have been addressed, the global optimization will be formulated and solved.


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