Metro Magazine

JUN 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

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Page 45 of 63

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) re- cently completed the installation of a ki- netic energy storage system at Metro's Red Line Westlake/MacArthur Park station. Te equipment, provided by Southern California-based fywheel power solution developer, VYCON, is being used in Met- ro's Wayside Energy Storage Substation- WESS Project. The project will demonstrate how VY- CON's green regenerative technology stores energy generated by braking trains and redistributes that energy to rail lines to accelerate trains — vastly improving en- ergy usage that otherwise would be wast- ed in the form of heat. "When a train comes into a station, much like when a hybrid car is braking, the motors in that train actually become re- generators, so they are actually generating the power, which is braking the train, and that power is being transmitted through this traction power station," explained Frank DeLattre, president of Vycon. "Nor- mally, if you don't have anywhere to put that energy, you would have to dissipate it with resistor banks, which burns of the electricity and converts back to heat." PEAK POWER In addition to energy recycling, VY- CON's REGEN also captures the DC train's power and uses it to reduce peak power demands in the system and provide volt- age support where low voltages are criti- cal during operation. Te peak power and voltage support capabilities are at their greatest during rush hours when the utili- ty power demands are at a premium price. "Typically, utility companies penalize customers who have these types of con- ditions where they are constantly draw- ing peak power, so with the fywheels be- ing there it eliminates the need to have the peak power at that particular substation because of the fact it's coming from the fywheels instead of the utility," DeLattre said. "Ultimately, what benefts both Met- ro and the taxpayer is the energy savings to be had with the energy storage." Te VYCON system stores kinetic en- ergy in the form of a rotating mass and is designed for high power, short discharge applications. Patented technology used within this system includes a high-speed motor/generator, contact-free magnet- ic bearings used to levitate and sustain the rotor during operation, and a control system that provides system informa- tion and performance. Tese technolo- gies enable the VYCON system to charge and discharge at high rates for hundreds of thousands of cycles, making it an ide- al energy storage solution for electric rail applications. COLLABORATION Metro began collaborating with VY- CON on the project several years ago, with the two presenting a paper on the amount of energy that could be saved through the installation of an energy storage system at 2008's APTA EXPO. Further down the road, the company performed a cost-ver- sus-benefts analysis of fve diferent Los Angeles stations, before eventually be- ing awarded a $3.6 million contract in No- vember 2012, for the supply of the main core equipment and the commissioning of the entire system. Te project was funded by a $4.4 million FTA grant under the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduc- tion (TIGGER) Program. Te company completed installation of its solution in March. As of May, VYCON was still fne-tuning the control system on the fywheels to maximize the energy stor- age levels, explained DeLattre. Te system is expected to store 6 megawatts of power. He added that since the Metro instal- lation was a frst-of-its-kind project, there was quite a bit of non-reoccurring engi- neering to develop the solution and con- trols, which, having now been completed, will result in the solution being more eco- nomically feasible for next installation or expansion of the solution. 42 < m ETRO m AGAZINE JUNE 2014 tech report Kinetic energy storage system increases efficient use of rail power BY ALEX ROMAN, MANAGING EDITOR VYCON completed installation of its kinetic energy storage system on a portion of L.A. Metro's Red Line (inset) in March and is set to be fnished fne-tuning the control system on the fywheels to maximize the energy storage levels by May. VYCON/Metro © 2014 42 < m ETRO m AGAZINE JUNE 2014 FACTOID: Flywheel The principle of the fywheel is found in the Neolithic spindle and the potter's wheel. In the Industrial Revolution, James Watt contributed to the development of the fywheel in the steam engine, and his contemporary James Pickard used a fywheel combined with a crank to transform reciprocating motion into rotary motion.

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