Medellin’s subway to reuse its energy

Energy    Aug 5, 2019 2:05 PM

Medellín authorities and the Bolivariana University (UPB) created an innovative proposal to store and re-use the energy generated by trains when they stop.

The proposal, according to El Tiempo, is made up of a direct current compensation system that leverages the energy that trains use when braking, and reuses it to start moving again.

The system is based on the use of modules called ‘ultra-capacitors’, that function as a type of rechargeable battery, the source said.

According to industry experts, the trains engines become energy generators during the braking process, and part of the energy can be recovered, transmitting it to another train that requires it, usually for it to start moving.

“When the train slows down, that energy stored in the form of movement converts it into electricity. With the proposal, we seek to leverage this valuable energy, and reuse it,” explained Andrés Emiro Díez, researcher of Electrical Engineering at the UPB.

The expert added that authorities approved the development of a pilot plan, and his team was able to install 16 ultra-capacitors, to develop the project.

“This system is unique in Latin America and has the highest power charger in Colombia,” he added.

Bottom-line: These are the type of innovative, effective projects that Colombia needs to see, to boost the energy sector and to position the country as a benchmark in the region.

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