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Voltage control on a train system

United States Patent

January 20, 2004
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
The present invention provides methods for preventing low train voltages and managing interference, thereby improving the efficiency, reliability, and passenger comfort associated with commuter trains. An algorithm implementing neural network technology is used to predict low voltages before they occur. Once voltages are predicted, then multiple trains can be controlled to prevent low voltage events. Further, algorithms for managing inference are presented in the present invention. Different types of interference problems are addressed in the present invention such as "Interference During Acceleration", "Interference Near Station Stops", and "Interference During Delay Recovery." Managing such interference avoids unnecessary brake/acceleration cycles during acceleration, immediately before station stops, and after substantial delays. Algorithms are demonstrated to avoid oscillatory brake/acceleration cycles due to interference and to smooth the trajectories of closely following trains. This is achieved by maintaining sufficient following distances to avoid unnecessary braking/accelerating. These methods generate smooth train trajectories, making for a more comfortable ride, and improve train motor reliability by avoiding unnecessary mode-changes between propulsion and braking. These algorithms can also have a favorable impact on traction power system requirements and energy consumption.
Gordon; Susanna P. (Oakland, CA), Evans; John A. (Hoyward, CA)
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (Oakland, CA)
09/ 975,121
October 9, 2001
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST The invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.