C-DAS: Connected on-board train energy optimisation
Rail transportation currently faces many challenges. High on the sector’s agenda is reducing rail’s impact on the environment and ensuring trains run more energy-efficiently. Among the several strategies available for reducing rail energy consumption, optimising train operation emerges as a one of the most interesting approaches. Colleagues Pablo Ciáurriz and Unai Alvarado from the Basque technology centre Ceit-IK4 explore the different factors that are fundamental in this area, including the advantages of deploying on-board Driver Advisory Systems.
A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reinforces the urgency of significantly and rapidly reducing emissions to be able to achieve the goals established in the Paris Agreement. The transport sector produces roughly one quarter of global energy-related CO2 emissions and one sixth of total greenhouse gases, and it is the fastest growing emissions sector. Among transportation methods, the railway sector is responsible for three per cent of the total transportation emissions. Even though a significant proportion of railway lines are not yet electrified, railways stand out as one of the cleanest modes of transportation, not only in absolute terms but also when expressed in terms of specific consumption, taking into account the tonnes of cargo moved by freight transport and the number of passengers travelling in commercial services (see Figure 1). The high-energy efficiency of rail transport makes promoting rail a promising strategy to diversify energy sources and reduce emissions. Shifting passenger and freight services from more intensive modes such as cars, trucks and airplanes to rail would substantially reduce net energy use and emissions.