ABB traction transformers power high-speed trains in Italy

April 12, 2018 - Efficient use of energy is a cornerstone of Formula E racing and of ABB technology which helps power and run high-speed trains in Italy

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Rome will be a celebration of the next wave of e-mobility technology in a country renowned for its sleek car designs, legendary auto brands and pre-eminence in car racing.

During the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the cars will weave their way at speeds over 200 kph through the streets of Rome’s southern EUR district. Each driver will be trying to use his limited power supply as efficiently as possible, one of the most important skills in Formula E racing, since each car is required to use the same battery with identical capacity and strength.

In the same vein, ABB technology is also maximizing efficiency and power supply, enabling efficient mobility throughout Rome and all of Italy in the form of traction transformers for high-speed trains.

Safe, efficient power for high-speed trains

Italy, a pioneer in transportation, was one of the first European countries to operate a high-speed rail line, on the Direttissima connection between Florence and Rome.

Many years later, high-speed trains use traction transformers as key components of the train’s onboard traction chain. Their function is to feed power at safe voltages to essential train functions like traction, lighting, heating and ventilation, passenger information, brakes, signaling and communication.

Traditionally made of iron and copper, traction transformers are among the heavier components on a train (and the most expensive as well). ABB’s traction transformers are chosen by many train builders and operators for their slim, compact and lightweight design, factors of paramount importance for efficient very high-speed trains.

In 2003, ABB provided traction transformers for the ETR 500 Frecciarossa trains, which can travel at top speeds of 300kmph to 350kmph between Milan and Rome. And in 2011, ABB provided traction transformers for the V300ZEFIRO high-speed train that Bombardier developed in partnership with AnsaldoBreda. Known in Italy as the ETR 1000, the V300ZEFIRO has a capacity of 600 passengers and is capable of commercial speeds of up to 360 km/h.

AGV very high-speed trains

ABB traction transformer technology was also used on the record breaking AGV train that attained 575 km/h in April 2007, in France. The first AGV train entered into commercial service in late 2011 in Italy and is now operated by NTV (Nuovo Transporto Viaggiatori). ABB has supplied 83 traction transformers.

As Formula E drivers compete for the fastest overall time as well as the fastest single lap, ABB technology continues to compete to enable the most efficient use of power by providing traction transformers for high-speed trains in Italy.

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