Protecting resources, minimizing emissions and reducing noise - these are not just buzzwords, but clear indicators for action, to which a systems supplier such as Voith Turbo responds firmly with innovations. With the presentation of its concept study ECOpack at Innotrans 2006, Voith Turbo shows seven concrete features that will make Voith Powerpacks even more attractive from an economical and ecological point of view.

The seven innovations are: hydrostatic recuperation, the Voith SilentVent, an adaptive suspension systems, the Steamdrive, a diesel particle filter with regeneration burner and integrated vaporizer, optimized sound protection skirts, as well as the new VTDC-Eco control unit. This mix of mechanical and electronic components and new developments provides enormous advantages for future vehicle operators utilizing a Voith-Powerpack.

When the vehicle speed is reduced during retarder operation, braking energy is stored. This hydrostatic recuperation allows hydrodynamic braking down to standstill after the actual retardation effect has worn off. When entering a railway station, the engine switches off after the vehicle has reached a speed of 20 km/h, which results in fuel savings. The energy required to supply auxiliary systems, such as air conditioning, on-board power supply, electric water pump or the adapted air pressure system, is provided by the newly developed Steamdrive. The Steamdrive is an independent power generator that utilizes the exhaust gas heat of the diesel engine and converts it into mechanical and/or electrical energy via a vaporization process.

If the residual heat and/or the mass inertia of the system is not sufficient for covering longer stays in the station, the Steamdrive will be “fired up” via the stationary emission- and consumption-optimized regeneration burner of the particle filter. This allows keeping the diesel engine switched off for the entire period of time the train spends inside the station.

Hydrostatic energy stored during braking allows a purely hydrostatic, emission-free exit from the station and accelerating to up to 30 km/h. The fuel savings achieved by hydrostatic recuperation alone amount to approximately 10 to 15 percent. In tractive operation, the new diesel particle filter allows a 95 percent reduction of otherwise emitted diesel particles.

The regeneration process is optimally controlled by the VTDC system, in accordance with load and operating parameters. The new Voith cooling system with SilentVent reduces noise emissions by 5dB. In order to minimize external noise during standstill, starting and passing, Voith Turbo has developed new noise protection skirts for its Powerpacks.

The adaptive suspension system has a positive effect on the transmission of structure-borne noises inside the vehicle. Vibrations and noises that develop between the drive components and the carrier frame are thus actively damped, and not just via rubber elements. The new VTDC-Eco control unit fulfills another central role: optimized auxiliary systems management and controlled activation ensure continuous acceleration with reduced drive and auxiliary systems power, resulting in fuel savings. The optimum adaptation of cooling parameters during full load operation or vehicle standstill, as well as the variable diesel engine speed, lead to reduced noise emissions.

In terms of fuel consumption, the VTDC-Eco is responsible for switching off the engine, controlling the ECO driving range (driver assistance in order to avoid uneconomical driving when utilizing driving time reserves) and the control of the energy sources (recuperation or braking energy and Steamdrive). Additionally, the system provides the driver with a comprehensive overview of the current traction and on-board energy consumption, as well as with information on energy regained from recuperation.

These innovations will soon be available from Voith Turbo, also for individual applications. Some of them have already been put into practice in current drive systems. The concept study demonstrates what can be achieved when these innovations are combined.