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OptiDrive: A practical approach for the calculation of energy-optimised operating speed profiles

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2 Author(s)
Lechelle, S.A. ; ENOTRAC, Sutton, UK ; Mouneimne, Z.S.

ENOTRAC has developed a desktop simulation tool, codenamed OptiDrive, for the computation of energy-optimised operating speed profiles. OptiDrive solves the following problem: "A train must travel from A to B in a given time using as little energy as possible. What speed profile should it follow considering track and train characteristics as well as operating constraints?" OptiDrive implements a powerful genetic algorithm, which determines, heuristically, the operating speed profile that will minimise energy consumption while taking into account the aforementioned constraints. The output of OptiDrive is a table showing where, along the line, trains should accelerate, coast and decelerate to minimise energy consumption while keeping to the existing timetable. The results can be fed directly into FABEL, ENOTRAC's railway simulator, to assess the impact of new driving regimes at system level taking into account signalling, timetable and traction power network. In particular, OptiDrive provides operators with a practical, inexpensive and readily available solution to benchmark their present driving regime with theoretically-optimised driving regimes. The tool is ideal for the computation of Automatic Train Operation (ATO) route speed profile tables. On human-operated railways, OptiDrive can be used to analyse the impact of driving style complexity on the potential for energy saving, allowing operators to strike a compromise between energy saving and punctuality.

Published in:

Railway Traction Systems (RTS 2010), IET Conference on

Date of Conference:

13-15 April 2010