Power management for safe, reliable railway systems: Battery backup

Positive Train Control (PTC) is being implemented in our nation’s railway systems to save lives.

Read more here: Advanced communications system for mobile fixed and Wi-Fi applications will save lives

Battery backup is a critical part of this PTC system in the event of a loss of power to the electronic system components track side as well as on board systems. The battery backup system needs to be able to handle the environmental conditions, especially at track side in an enclosed metal cabinet with conformal coating of the PC boards. An ‘always on’ condition is ensured with dual-redundancy battery strings.

Powerbox, a large European power supply company, has such a product known as the Battery Backup Unit System (BBU-S) in an industry standard 19-inch rack which includes sub-modules. The key features for this type of system component are an active power correction done at the input, micro-controlled smart charging, an automatic battery test, output distribution of power with many control and monitoring signals.

This system was specifically developed for quick deployment in a heterogenous railway system with an AC or DC input capability and the ability to charge and control multiple battery packs. The power level ranges in this series is from 340W versions up to 1200W. Remote monitoring and control is enabled via LAN interface, radio communications module (GSM, 3G, and LTE).

This system is especially well suited for trackside applications such as signaling since it has a good cost and energy savings. The adaptive power capability of this system can respond to voltage and power that suit the length of the track and also the number of systems installed in the signaling network.

Railway systems have mandatory requirements that any components installed in a critical system must be able to have fast and simple replacement/repair architecture features. This system design has a range of plug-and-play modules so that installation, maintenance and repair will be done with minimum downtime of service.

Of utmost importance is that the BBU-S is designed to meet industrial standards and regulations including: EN60950, UL60950, EN61000-6-2, EN61000-6-4, EN61000-3-2, EN50125-3, EN50124-4, LVD and RoHS.

For more details visit the Powerbox website.

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