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Power Converters in Railway Applications

As we recover from the global COVID lockdowns, around the world, rail traffic and networks are expanding again, driven by increasing affluence and mobility, rebooted tourism and asset upgrades for better sustainable and environmentally friendly transport. Railways are an integral part of the EU’s Green Deal plan of becoming climate-neutral by 2050 [1], while China and India particularly are investing heavily into a market with a global CAGR growth rate of 3.4% [2]. Provision of new equipment is lagging demand however so there is also a program of upgrades to existing infrastructure and rolling stock to improve efficiency to keep transport moving.

Railway ApplicationsUtilising assets efficiently is vital

New and existing rolling stock can be utilised more efficiently with ‘smart’ systems, tracking idle and active stock to enable increased traffic density. Operational condition can also be monitored using the techniques of Remote Condition Monitoring (RCM) and Condition Based Maintenance (CBM). The techniques identify repair and maintenance just when needed, saving costs and improving reliability and availability. Condition monitoring can collect other data such as occupancy rates and distance travelled which can be analysed to achieve further efficiency savings. The rail sector IoT market is expected to reach USD 30.6 billion by 2026 with a GAGR of over 15% [3].

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