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May 11, 2022

Siemens and Mitsubishi to enhance railway drive systems’ efficiency

Power semiconductors are said to play a crucial role in rail vehicles such as trams to high-speed trains.

Siemens Mobility has entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mitsubishi Electric Europe for the use of high voltage silicon carbide (SiC) technology to enhance the energy efficiency of railway drive systems.

The companies will work in the field of SiC power module technology to support sustainable transportation, as well as electrical energy savings in the transportation sector.

The EU pledged to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 with the ‘European Green Deal’. It aims to eliminate net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.

At an intermediary phase, emissions are expected to be cut by 55% by 2030 compared with 1990.

Siemens stated that “The European Green Deal will result in binding directives for individual sectors regarding CO₂ emissions.”

The rail industry and its suppliers, as well as the technologies and components used in rail transport, are anticipated to play a key role in the achievement of the sustainable goal.

Power semiconductors are said to play a crucial role in railway vehicles ranging from trams to high-speed trains.

Continuous development of standard silicon-based power semiconductors and advancement of new technologies such as SiC will help improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

Mitsubishi Electric is said to establish new technological standards with SiC technology and decarbonise Siemens Mobility railways.

Mitsubishi Electric’s SiC devices are used in applications such as traction inverters in trains. Its full SiC 3300 V power modules facilitate energy saving and downsize traction inverters.

The suitable SiC chipset for high-speed switching will be deployed in the standardised LV100 package to provide low-stray inductance and easy paralleling capability.

By using battery-powered Mireo Plus technology, Siemens can electrify railway lines even without a continuous overhead contact line.

Siemens added: “SiC technology is particularly beneficial for regional trains with an innovative battery hybrid drive for use on rail sections with, or without an overhead contact line.”

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