Rolls-Royce has signed two contracts for the supply of 13 MTU Hybrid PowerPacks. Iarnród Éireann has ordered 9 MTU Hybrid PowerPacks, with Porterbrook initially taking 4. The Hybrid PowerPacks are to be delivered between May 2020 and the end of 2021.
The two railway companies are evaluating the possible conversion of significant parts of their fleets to hybrid once successful trials of this cutting-edge technology are completed.
The Hybrid PowerPack is an environmentally friendly drive system that combines the benefits of battery-powered and diesel-powered traction systems. It combines an MTU diesel engine, built to EU Stage V requirements, with an electric unit that can function both as a motor and as a generator, and with the MTU EnergyPack battery system that stores energy recovered during braking. This enables operations with zero local emissions under battery power.
The new technology allows traction noise reduction in station areas by around 75% or 20 dB(A) and consumption and CO2 emissions are cut by up to 25%.
Operating costs of vehicles fitted with hybrid drives are also significantly lower, and even brake pads and discs have reduced wear due to brake energy recuperation. As a result of the additional power of the electric machine, train operators also have the option to improve journey times through better acceleration.
“These first orders are a milestone as we transform the company from an engine and PowerPack manufacturer to a solution provider offering tomorrow’s sustainable traction systems,” Jürgen Blassmann, Head of Rail Business at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said.