2011 Volume 131 Issue 2 Pages 219-226
The eddy current rail brake is a type of braking system used in railway vehicles. Because of problems such as rail heating and problems associated with ensuring that power is supplied when the feeder malfunctions, this braking system has not been used for practical applications in Japan. Therefore, we proposed the use of linear induction motor (LIM) technology in eddy current rail brake systems. The LIM rail brake driven by dynamic braking can reduce rail heating and generate the energy required for self-excitation. In this paper, we present an excitation system and control method for the LIM rail brake driven by “dynamic braking with zero electrical output”. The proposed system is based on the concept that the LIM rail brake can be energized without using excitation power sources such as a feeder circuit and that high reliability can be realized by providing an independent excitation system. We have studied this system and conducted verification tests using a prototype LIM rail brake on a roller rig. The results show that the system performance is adequate for commercializing the proposed system, in which the LIM rail brake is driven without using any excitation power source.