ECO components for rail vehicles help to save fuel, reduce noise and minimise harmful emissions. They add to the ecological advantage of rail vehicles and thus underline the position of rail traffic as a truly sustainable traffic carrier. Based on its long experience in designing rail vehicles, Voith Turbo places great value on finding the optimum drive concept for the individual operating conditions of a vehicle. ECO components from Voith can be used separately or in combination with Voith drive systems for various types of hybrid concepts.

One of these options is the Voith Hydrobrid for railcars and locomotives. It can be designed as micro, mild or full hybrid and is suitable for retrofits in existing vehicles. Electric, hydraulic or mechanical energy storage systems can be utilised for all designs. Relatively low investment costs, especially for the mild hybrid version, are another important advantage.

The Voith micro hybrid combines a start-stop function for the diesel engine with a reinforced starter battery that also serves as a storage unit for utilising braking energy.

With the mild hybrid, a further component is used in addition to the start-stop function. Via hydrostatic recuperation it forwards braking energy either to high-pressure tanks or utilises it directly for driving auxiliary systems. Energy can be used for driving ancillary systems or for additional acceleration during starting (boosting). In a different version, braking energy is converted into electrical energy. A third element of the Hydrobrid utilises lost heat from the drive motor as an additional energy source. The ECO components SteamTrac and SteamDrive convert the lost heat from the drive motor into mechanical and/or electrical energy.

Alongside the diesel engine, the full hybrid has a secondary power source, with which the vehicle can be driven independently from the primary energy source. Through EcoConsult, Voith Turbo also offers a “toolbox”, which allows identifying the exact operating conditions and a reliable calculation of the life cycle cost (LCC) for a wide variety of vehicle categories and operating profiles. It provides a reliable basis for setting up vehicle configurations.

An example from the EcoConsult toolbox is the driver assistance system EcoScout. EcoScout is a control and display system that is integrated into the vehicle giving the locomotive driver driving recommendations – similar to a car navigation system. Tests have shown that the system allows fuel savings of up to 20%.