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EU energy project hails progress

Victoria-Gasteiz 511 was fitted with a new onboard energy storage system that gave 25% greater efficiency and improved energy recovery from regenerative braking by 5%. (Image: OSIRIS/UNIFE)

The three-year OSIRIS (optimal strategy to innovate and reduce energy consumption in urban rail systems) programme concluded in March, with partners and participants hailing the progress made in reducing energy usage and improving efficiency in Europe’s tramway and metro networks a success.

The UNIFE-co-ordinated programme brought together 17 partners, focusing on efficiencies across the entire rail system. The result of the EUR7.3m project – co-funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, which provided EUR4.3m – is the development of a ‘toolbox’ relevant to the specific segments of the urban transport sector. This includes new methodologies for simulating, evaluating and optimising energy consumption, which has since contributed to a 10% reduction by some European systems, well ahead of the 2020 target set at the outset of the programme.

OSIRIS has also laid the framework for a new comparative rolling stock energy consumption tool through a modular duty cycle system.

Among the technical innovations are a new tram onboard lithium-ion energy storage system developed by CAF Power & Automation and Saft that has been proven on the Vitoria-Gasteiz tramway, an Alstom-developed lightweight auxiliary converter for Milan’s metro line 3, and a water-cooled HVAC system for equipment rooms from AnsaldoSTS that has been successfully trialled at Rome’s Barberini station in partnership with ATAC.