TransEnergy - Road 2 Rail Energy Exchange (R2EE)

The project aims to develop technology that would ultimately see the batteries of electric cars parked at railway stations used to power trains.

Electric Car Charging

The proposed research addresses both the technology to store electric energy in a form suited to transport use and the modelling to understand how to use the technology to reduce overall energy demand.

The project aims to develop technology that would ultimately see the batteries of electric cars parked at railway stations used to power trains. The ‘Road to Rail’ energy system will administer a power boost during busy periods, linking electric car batteries to the railways power systems when cars are parked.

The batteries will be charged from the train’s regenerative braking system as it pulls into the station. The team of researchers will develop a purpose-built energy storage test facility that will sit alongside a railway line. They will explore two types of energy storage, batteries and supercapacitors as hybrid solutions to solve the problem of increased electrical demand required to power trains. This will be the first of its kind anywhere.

The proposed research addresses both the technology to store electric energy in a form suited to transport use, and the modelling to understand how to use the technology to reduce overall energy demand.

Transport energy demand reduction can be viewed at two timescales: (i) a twice daily demand caused by rush hour commuting, and (ii) minute by minute variations in demand as required by individual vehicles. Both timescales pose tractable research questions which can be addressed by energy storage. The work will examine the technical issues surrounding the use of both new batteries, and second life (old) EV batteries as line-side storage.

This study will be complimented and enhanced with the addition of research on throughlife environmental issues, and the consumer acceptance and legislatory constraints surrounding this use. In addition, the novel use of EVs in a road to rail (R2R) energy exchange scenario will provide an opportunity to explore the use of in-car EV batteries as energy storage when parked in rail station car parks, and address the implications of this use on the consumers, together with the consumer acceptability.

Lead Researchers

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