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Sustainable and intelligent management of energy for smarter railway systems in Europe: an integrated optimisation approach.

Project leader

Dr Roberto Palacin


October 2012 to December 2015


European Commission FP7


MERLIN investigated the viability of an integrated management system. The system will achieve a more sustainable and optimised energy usage. It focuses on European electric mainline railway systems.

MERLIN provides an integrated optimisation approach that includes many elements. Dynamic forecasting supply-demand scenarios and cost considerations support operational decisions. This leads to cost-effective and intelligent management of energy and resources.

Our approach leads to improvements in the design of existing and new railway distribution networks and electrical systems. This includes interfaces with the public grid and considers network interconnections.

Various elements of the railway system influence its energy demand. We now have a better understanding of these influences. We have thus identified solutions that can contribute to optimising energy usage. We have explored a more efficient traction energy supply, based on optimised use of resources.

We have developed a thorough understanding of the dependencies between different technological solutions. This allowed us to define the best combinations for optimised energy usage.

MERLIN also delivered the interface protocol and the architecture for energy management systems. To do this, we combined the technical development with new business models to enable and foster their application.

Our research will improve the cost effectiveness of the railway system. It will contribute to European standardisation (TecRec).

Dr Roberto Palacin led the MERLIN project. It was funded by the European Commission under grant 314125.