High-efficiency linear motors power Chinese trains

Jan. 7, 2010
China's first linear-motor-powered metro train recently left the station.

The first high efficiency linear motor (LM) propulsion system to power a metro train was successfully tested and validated at Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. Ltd. in Changchun, China. The work was the result of a joint effort between Harbin Electric and the Institute of Electrical Engineering of Chinese Academy of Sciences and the railway.

The Chinese say the successful development of this LM driving metro train ranks China as the third country in the world after Canada and Japan to master LM technology for a transit system.

Compared to the traditional rotary motor-propelled metro transit system widely in use in the world, the LM driving metro train provides higher performance efficiency with lower energy consumption. It can negotiate steep grades and is said to cope with tight curves and corners, lowers maintenance cost, provides a safer ride under severe whether conditions such as rain and snow, and is quieter and more comfortable. Additionally, due to the simplicity of the LM propulsion system, the vehicle body is more compact, reducing the cross section of underground tunnels by about 40% and accelerating construction of the tracks, thus providing significant cost savings.

Guangzhou's metro line 4 and 5 have adopted the LM propelled train as has the Beijing Capital International Airport Link. However these metro lines currently rely on equipment provided by foreign manufacturers. These made-in-China core technologies including LM propulsion technology are expected to reduce cost to about half of the cost of imported trains and will create substantial economic and social benefits throughout the country.

Officials say the next step for this project is to produce a four-car train set for the Beijing Capital International Airport Link according to the specific technical requirements for this transit system.

More info: http://www.harbinelectric.com/


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