Smart turnout heating for an environmental-friendly & cost saving power supply

Vossloh’s approach:

  • To prevent switch blades from freezing or accumulating snow, Vossloh uses the steel’s thermal capacity in a welded monobloc sandwich design.
  • To allow on-demand heating in case of snow or minus temperatures, additional instrumentation is installed for measuring precipitation along with air and rail temperatures, as well as the control system, housed in a switch cabinet, which enables the complex heating system to kick in only when the conditions so require.
  • It can be adapted via a heat exchanger to any renewable power source (aerothermal, geothermal, hydrothermal, solar panels, waste heat from local buildings/industries).
Photos of the installation

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The pilot project in Karlsruhe is the first to put the lifecycle cost focus on the energy consumption of turnouts.

And with good reason: Depending on the kind of heat pump, the energy saving potential can exceed 90%.

Lifecycle energy consumption of turnouts:

  • Over a service life of 20 years, electric heating costs for grooved rails or R190 Vignole turnouts are equivalent to between approx. 8% and 25% of the entire LCC.
  • Once the investment for a regenerative energy-based heating system has been made, the electricity costs are reduced to a mere €15 to €20 per year – only 3% to 4% of energy costs of traditional systems.
Permits an 85% reduction in the share of energy costs compared to traditional systems

Special characteristics of the tension clamp curve such as the second stiffness