Rail Vehicular Technologies
The main objective of this Special Column is to bring together the new and innovative ideas, experiences and research results from researchers and practitioners on all aspects of Rail Vehicular Technologies.
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    Xiaojun DENG, Yanju ZHAO, Haijin ZHANG, Renzhong SHUAI, Leiwei ZHU
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(3): 385-389.

    Noise-reduction seats have been successfully used in concert halls, theaters, and other places that reduce noise. In this study, a new noise-reduction seat design was proposed for high-speed trains, which have unique interior noise spectral characteristics. First, before the noise-reduction seat models were fabricated, the parameters of high-performance sound-absorbing materials and perforated plates were selected by conducting a standing-wave tube test. The sound-absorption effects of the noise-reduction seats and normal seats were investigated and compared in a reverberation chamber. Test results showed that, compared with normal seats, the noise-reduction seats obtained a significantly improved sound-absorption coefficient in the entire frequency band. Furthermore, the test results were used to establish a simulation model for calculation, and the simulation results proved that the noise-reduction seats substantially reduced the noise in an entire train car. Finally, the noise-reduction seats were fabricated and installed in a full train car of an actual high-speed train. The test results showed that, compared with the normal seats, the noise-reduction seats decreased the noise level at a standard point in the passenger car by 1.5 dB. Therefore, the noise-reduction seats are effective in noise reduction.

    Ming GONG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(2): 323-328.

    City clusters and metropolitan areas in China are flourishing in the midst of the deepening urbanization in the country, thereby resulting in the emergence of intercity rail transit. Intercity railways connect mainline and urban railways for an integrated regional transportation system that underpins and leads the development of city clusters and metropolitan areas. This study explores the development mode and service characteristics of intercity rail transit, as well as proposes overviews on this system and prospects of its future technology in China.

    Ruichen WANG, Zhiwei WANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2020, 15(2): 265-278.

    To improve the fuel economy of rail vehicles, this study presents the feasibility of using power regenerating dampers (PRDs) in the primary suspension systems of railway vehicles and evaluates the potential and recoverable power that can be obtained. PRDs are configured as hydraulic electromagnetic-based railway primary vertical dampers and evaluated in parallel and series modes (with and without a viscous damper). Hydraulic configuration converts the linear behavior of the track into a unidirectional rotation of the generator, and the electromagnetic configuration provides a controllable damping force to the primary suspension system. In several case studies, generic railway vehicle primary suspension systems that are configured to include a PRD in the two configuration modes are modeled using computer simulations. The simulations are performed on measured tracks with typical irregularities for a generic UK passenger route. The performance of the modified vehicle is evaluated with respect to key performance indicators, including regenerated power, ride comfort, and running safety. Results indicate that PRDs can simultaneously replace conventional primary vertical dampers, regenerate power, and exhibit desirable dynamic performance. A peak power efficiency of 79.87% is theoretically obtained in series mode on a top-quality German Intercity Express track (Track 270) at a vehicle speed of 160 mile/h (~257 km/h).

    Jianghua FENG, Jing SHANG, Zhixue ZHANG, Huadong LIU, Zihao HUANG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(3): 411-426.

    A new type of traction drive system consisting of solid-state traction transformer (SSTT), inverter unit, auxiliary inverter, traction motor and other key components is built in order to suit the demand of developing the next-generation electric traction system which will be efficient and lightweight, with high power density. For the purpose of reducing system volume and weight and improving efficiency and grid-side power quality, an efficient SSTT optimized topology combining high-voltage cascaded rectifiers with high-power high-frequency LLC resonant converter is proposed. On this basis, an integrated control strategy built upon synchronous rotating reference frame is presented to achieve unified control over fundamental active, reactive and harmonic components. The carrier-interleaving phase shift modulation strategy is proposed to improve the harmonic performance of cascaded rectifiers. In view of the secondary pulsating existing in a single-phase system, the mathematical model of secondary power transfer is built, and the mechanism of pulsating voltage resulting in beat frequency of LLC resonant converter is revealed, so as to design optimum matching of system parameters. Simulation and experimental results have verified that the traction system and control scheme mentioned in this paper are reasonable and superior and that they meet the future application requirements for rail transit.

    Le YANG, Shuo WANG, Jianghua FENG
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(3): 329-353.

    Electromagnetic interference (EMI) causes electromechanical damage to the motors and degrades the reliability of variable-frequency drive (VFD) systems. Unlike fundamental frequency components in motor drive systems, high-frequency EMI noise, coupled with the parasitic parameters of the trough system, are difficult to analyze and reduce. In this article, EMI modeling techniques for different function units in a VFD system, including induction motors, motor bearings, and rectifier-inverters, are reviewed and evaluated in terms of applied frequency range, model parameterization, and model accuracy. The EMI models for the motors are categorized based on modeling techniques and model topologies. Motor bearing and shaft models are also reviewed, and techniques that are used to eliminate bearing current are evaluated. Modeling techniques for conventional rectifier-inverter systems are also summarized. EMI noise suppression techniques, including passive filter, Wheatstone bridge balance, active filter, and optimized modulation, are reviewed and compared based on the VFD system models.

    Weihua ZHANG, Dong ZOU, Mengying TAN, Ning ZHOU, Ruiping LI, Guiming MEI
    Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering, 2018, 13(2): 311-322.

    The application of electrified railway directly promotes relevant studies on pantograph-catenary interaction. With the increase of train running speed, the operating conditions for pantograph and catenary have become increasingly complex. This paper reviews the related achievements contributed by groups and institutions around the world. This article specifically focuses on three aspects: The dynamic characteristics of the pantograph and catenary components, the systems’ dynamic properties, and the environmental influences on the pantograph-catenary interaction. In accordance with the existing studies, future research may prioritize the task of identifying the mechanism of contact force variation. This kind of study can be carried out by simplifying the pantograph-catenary interaction into a moving load problem and utilizing the theory of matching mechanical impedance. In addition, developing a computational platform that accommodates environmental interferences and multi-field coupling effects is necessary in order to further explore applications based on fundamental studies.