How To Combine a Train And Electric Vehicle Charging? Maybe Train2Car is the Answer

MAR 8 2014 BY MARK KANE 4

Mitsubishi Made Citroen C-Zero

Citroen C-Zero

Metro de Madrid, the operator of Madrid’s subway lines, tried to couple trains with electric cars in its “Train2Car” project, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

How could it work, you ask? According to the CHAdeMO Assiosiation press release, the idea is to reuse the energy produced when the trains slow down by converting the kinetic energy into electrical energy to charge EVs.

So, the train must have regenerative braking and there must be infrastructure ready to accept MW of power. In the Train2Car project, there is an energy storage system in batteries. Then, finally we have a CHAdeMO charger in a Citroën dealership, which is available for free (at last until June after which you need to buy train ticket to use charger).

“In order to test this new system, a CHAdeMO fast charger, provided by GH Everdrive, has been installed in the Citroën dealership premises at Sainz de Baranda, allowing anyone with CHAdeMO compatible EVs to charge without payment until the end of June during the opening hours of the Citroën site. Metro de Madrid will use this data to improve the system, which shall open doors to the re-utilisation of kinetic energy produced by the train brakes in electric rail or other applications such as EV charging. When all goes well, this charge station named “Metrolinera” will expand to other parts of the Spanish capital.”

Does this novel idea make sense?  Perhaps in a place where trains run constantly and EVs are everywhere.

Categories: General, Peugeot / Citroën

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4 Comments on "How To Combine a Train And Electric Vehicle Charging? Maybe Train2Car is the Answer"

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Regenerative braking by trains has been used for ages. So the principle is not very novel.

When a train feeds back power into the overhead lines, other trains can use it. But when no other trains are capable of using that energy, it could go back into the grid, couldn’t it? Well, not so easily. Most train systems use DC and so you would need to have a innverter that produces AC. An expensive piece of equipment at the power levels of a braking train (100’s of kW). So keeping it DC and storing it in a battery is perhaps a cheaper solution to use that energy.

Trains and Trams are the unltimate in grid destabilising technology. A train will go from no power to lots of power in a very short time frame. If you include regen braking then things only get worse going from negative power to positive power. Not something grids are really designed to handle. Putting a whole heap of electric cars on the line that can charge at varing rate and respond instandly to voltage spikes seems a reasonably new idea to me, I am sure that there are already storage technologies incorperated into these systems (most likley on the trains) but a little extra from a fleet of electric cars can only be a good thing.

This would not work in the US, who has the worst passenger train system in the industrialized world.

There are plenty of public electric vehicle charging stations that do not charge, but instead enjoy ad revenue or new business as a result of their support of EV drivers… http://www.juicebarev.com