Innovative energy recovery system for trams

Mobility presented ESS, its Energy Storage System, at the 2015 InnoRail conference in Budapest. This energy recovery technology is used by Le Havre's tram system.

Innorail_textePublic transport and tram systems are currently experiencing a revival. Trams provide solutions to urban redevelopment, transport planning and environmental concerns. However, as the use of these modes of transport grows, so too does the consumption of electrical energy. This points to the need to develop innovative technologies that will cut energy costs.

Unique system for reducing electricity consumption in trams

Mobility, a VINCI Energies company, has developed an energy recovery unit called ESS (Energy Storage System) which recovers the energy generated when a tram brakes. The principle is based on supercapacitor technology, which offers the advantage of being able to store and return energy rapidly, in just a few seconds. As a result, this storage and regenerative system produces savings of up to 15% in energy costs per year.

Technology used by Le Havre tram system since 2012

Three ESS units have been in use on Le Havre's first tram line for the past three years. The installation of the new technology makes this the first tram line in France to be fitted with a regenerative braking system. In 2014, 120,000 kilowatt hours were recovered thanks to the units, representing savings of 8 to 15% for each power substation fitted with the technology. Other projects are currently under way since the ESS technology can be installed in other modes of public transport such as trolleybuses, underground trains and even overground trains.