Voith Turbo recently reported the test results from a SteamTrac (Steam Traction) waste heat recovery system installed in a rail vehicle of SWEG Verkehrsbetriebe Breisgau Kaiserstuhl, Germany showed a decrease in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 4 to 12%, depending upon the driving profile.
Voith developed SteamTrac to target marine and industrial applications as well as rail vehicles. Steam is generated from exhaust heat via a heat exchanger and fed to a piston expander to produce additional mechanical energy, which is then redirected straight to the driveline.
|SteamTrac working principle. Click to enlarge.
Since March, a SteamTrac has been operating in the rail test vehicle of SWEG. The single-car diesel railcar built by Waggon Union Berlin dates back to 1993, and is fitted with two 250-kW diesel-hydraulic drive systems with Voith turbo transmissions.
According to Voith calculations, the SteamTrac, which is connected to one of the two engines, generates an additional input power of 24 kW. Initial measuring trips already came up with an additional power of 19 kW.