SA freight rail operations can benefit from regenerative braking system

Sep 13 2017 19:48
Carin Smith

Cape Town - By using a regenerative braking system, cost savings of between 15% and 25% could be achieved in freight rail in South Africa, according to Transnet engineer Andreas Pyper.

The annual cost of energy in the freight rail in SA is estimated at a total of R4.8bn - with 47% going to diesel and 53% to electricity.

At the recent 11th International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) Conference in Cape Town, Pyper explained the cost saving the distributed kinetic energy recovery system (D-KERS) could bring.

This regenerative braking system recovers and reuses the braking (kinetic) energy that would traditionally be dissipated to the environment during braking.

Freight rail energy consumption in SA is 41% diesel and 59% electricity, while traction energy comes 19% from diesel and 81% from electricity.

"The technology required for the implementation of the D-KERS exists and it is practically possible to integrate these systems into wagon bogies," explained Pyper.

"By characterising and simulating the system, we have been able to show that energy savings of 15% to 25% can be achieved on typical freight routes in SA."

The payback period of the system could be as little as four to six years, resulting in internal rates of return in excess of 30% over the system life cycle in certain applications.

Furthermore, the operations of freight trains can be improved by regenerative braking systems, according to Pyper.

"The D-KERS system will for the first time enable effective regenerative braking on diesel freight trains," he explained.

"The financial analysis shows that the D-KERS promises a good business opportunity."

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24's top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. 24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

transnet  |  rail  |  industrial



Company Snapshot

We're talking about: MINI BUDGET

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has laid bare South Africa's economic woes. Visit our Mini Budget Special for all the action.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

Free education in South Africa is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote