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RailPower

RailPower is software, which would allow the assessment of electrical variables for railway lines. These studies are based on the simulation of real operating conditions. The results obtained would help in making decisions related to the correct way of electrifying a line: the location and power of the substations, overhead contact line characteristics, etc., thus helping to optimise the costs and determine the operational limits as well as anticipating possible critical situations.

In order to compete with other means of transport, railway companies feel obliged to reduce the time span between trains and to increase the speed of the line service. These objectives are normally attained by using new rolling stock with better specifications, or by increasing the number of trains in circulation. Both factors produce higher power demands than usual, which are met by constructing new traction power substations or by adding more rectifying groups to the ones that are already in existence.

The ideal location of the new power substations and the power each one needs to supply for determines the minimum time between trains and depends on many factors (line characteristics, substation location, rolling stock used, envisaged train circulation network, availability of high voltage lines, etc.). These aforesaid factors suggest that the decision making process should require the evaluation of different operating conditions, which can not be carried out rigorously by manual means.

To overcome this problem, within its R&D simulation software, Ardanuy Ingeniería S.A. has developed a complete software tool, the RailPower simulation software, which would allow the assessment of electrical variables for railway lines. These studies are based on the simulation of real operating conditions. The results obtained would help in making decisions related to the correct way of electrifying a line: the location and power of the substations, overhead contact line characteristics, etc., thus helping to optimise the costs and determine the operational limits as well as anticipating possible critical situations. RailPower has been developed in the Windows environment, which results in a very intelligible presentation and conveys an easy manipulation of the out comings. This and its modular composition facilitate the adaptation of the simulation software to particular studies and needs for any type of operation.