The UIC Energy Efficiency and CO2 Emissions Experts Network held its workshop on Energy Efficient Infrastructure on 2 July 2018 in Paris.
After eco-driving, eco-stabling and measuring energy consumption, other energy-saving potentials have been identified by the Energy Efficiency and CO2 Emissions Experts Network in the energy management of railway infrastructures, and so the aim of the workshop was to focus on the following main topics:
- Lighting of railway assets and design tools to light railway infrastructure
- Switch heating: sharing of technologies and experiences from infrastructure managers
- Integration of renewable energy in railway infrastructure
Attended by around 30 participants from across the infrastructure and energy sectors, the workshop was opened and moderated by Chloé Lima-Vanzela (SNCF) and Bart Van der Spiegel (Infrabel), on behalf of Isabelle De Keyzer, UIC Senior Advisor Sustainable Development.
The afternoon consisted of four themed sessions with opportunities for questions and answers in between, where participants discussed their experience using the relevant technology.
The first session, which featured presentations by SNCB and ProRail, focused on energy efficient lighting. The speakers outlined the drivers for renewing lighting for rail infrastructure and gave examples of why it is worth investing in intelligent lighting in order to reduce energy consumption. The speakers showed the results of “LEDification” on railway assets (platforms, parking buildings, trains, shunting areas) and how for example the level of brightness on railway platforms and in waiting rooms has been improved.
The second session focused on energy efficient switch heating, where Infrabel, ProRail and RZD talked about the impact of energy efficient technologies and renewable energy sources on rail infrastructure. Infrabel explained how weather stations are used to control switch heating in Belgium. Switch heating is optimised through the use of sensors in weather stations to gather data and enable automatic monitoring. Speakers explained how to improve switch heating through the Internet of Things (IoT) by using infra sensors. RZD talked about using wind generators to produce energy and using thermal energy to heat railway facilities (lighting, heating, etc.).
For the third topic, Infrabel and SNCF talked about energy efficient internal networks, how to measure and allocate energy consumption in internal networks, sharing power and having shared storage systems (based on lithium batteries) for stations and signalling.
The final topic of the afternoon was the integration of renewables, presented by SNCB and ProRail. An example was given on the installation of solar panels on railway assets. The speakers highlighted the importance for railways to use renewable energy for financial, ecological and social reasons, and that it was vital to create their “own” renewable energy production.
The meeting was concluded by Chloé Lima-Vanzela, SNCF, and Carole Escolan-Zeno, Head of the UIC Sustainable Development Unit, who thanked the participants for their interesting discussions and reminded them of the forthcoming events later this year, in particular the Global Rail and Energy Workshop to be held on 24 September at UIC.
In the light of the afternoon’s discussions, participants were asked to consider the role of rail transport in the future, its position with regard to future energy requirements and how railway assets can add value to the energy transition.
The presentations from the workshop will soon be available on the website.