Z_LIM DEMO: Zero Wheel Slip Linear Induction Motor

This grant builds on a feasibility study conducted as part of the first stage of this competition (phase 01).  Zero Wheel Slip Linear Induction Motor (Z_LIM) set out to prove the feasibility of a concept aiming at reducing dependence on the friction between wheel and rail for traction and braking forces, while requiring minimal or no changes at all to existing infrastructure. This approach maximises the potential impact opening up the possibility of retrofitting as well as new rolling stock applications. The principal benefit of linear motor technology applied in this context is its capability of increasing tractive and braking effort beyond what it can be obtained using conventional rolling stock, ultimately leading to an increase in railway system capacity. This increase in capacity has to be balanced against the additional cost and energy usage of the linear motor equipment.

The findings of phase 01 corroborate the feasibility of applying linear motor technology using the Z_LIM concept for increased braking performance and capacity gains. Furthermore, investigations during phase 01 also indicated that further development of the control strategies (and hence th vertical/longitudinal forces produced by the device) could bring similar or greater capacity gains with lower energy input, and relatively small increases in rail heating.

The main aim of the phase 02 demonstration stage is to develop a credible, capable and cost-effective Z_LIM device that fulfils the expected performance outlined during the feasibility study phase in terms of braking capability and capacity gains