• Inductive Wireless Power Transfer for Switcher Trains

    NCDOT Research Project Number: 2020-40

 Executive Summary

  • ​To address the issue of charging off-road switcher equipment at railroad yards, we propose to develop a wireless charging system for switcher trains at the North Carolina DOT Rail Yard. The system would allow the switcher trains be charged overnight and minimize the heavy labor involved in the current plug-in charging system – thus minimize exposing rail yard personnel to working hazards due to heavy loading. Based on innovative and state-ofthe-art inductive power transfer (IPT) technology, wireless power charging minimizes the use of power cords and can eliminate several safety issues associated with power cords. IPT is a novel technology that has seen significant applications in automobile and bus applications. However, the technology development for tracked locomotives is very limited.  The proposed study includes research, development and demonstration of the wireless power charging system, charging unit installation study including interferences due to metallic rail tracks, and site safety studies including fire safety due to battery fire. The proposed wireless charging system will provide substantial support for the rapid and reliable charging of the
    electric power supply of the switcher trains, which will greatly facilitate the asset management facing NCDOT in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and safety. Ultimately, the results of this research will also benefit NCDOT as to the enhancement and safety of the yard operations.

Tiefu Zhao
Tiefu Zhao; Shenen Chen
Lynn Harris
Curtis T. Bradley

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 Report Period

  • August 1, 2019 - July 31, 2022


  • In Progress


  • Planning, Policy, Programming and Multi-modal

 Sub Category

  • Passenger Rail

 Related Links

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