Energymiser: saving energy and improving timekeeping on trains
Energymiser is an in-cab system that helps train drivers stay on time and use less fuel. It is currently being used on freight trains in Australia and intercity passenger trains in the UK. It is also being trialled in India.
Our work on optimal train control started in 1982, with a project to develop a system to advise suburban railcar drivers on energy-efficient driving strategies. Analysis using Pontryagin's maximum principle showed that the most energy-efficient driving strategy for a simple rail journey has three phases: power, coast, and brake. A prototype system was trialled on suburban railcars in Adelaide, and achieved fuel savings of 15%.
From 1986 to 1993 we worked on the optimal control of long haul trains. A simple power-coast-brake strategy will not work on long journeys with steep gradients and multiple speed restrictions. However, analysis of the optimal control problem showed that an optimal strategy comprised only four driving modes: power, hold (driving at constant speed), coast, and brake. Numerical algorithms were developed to calculate the optimal driving strategy, and to develop a system that could calculate and display driving advice in a cab.
In 1998 we started working with TTG Transportation Technology to develop a commercial product. This work was later supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for Railway Engineering and Technologies. This work resulted in trials of equipment on freight trains running between Adelaide and Melbourne, and later on other parts of the network. Fuel savings of 10% were demonstrated. Trials in India have shown similar results, and trials on high-speed intercity passenger trains in the UK showed even greater savings.
Continuing research is funded by a 2011-2013 ARC Linkage Grant: Saving energy on trains---demonstration, evaluation, integration.
2011-2013, Saving energy on trains, ARC Linkage
2005-2007, Further enhancement of the Freightmiser in-cab advice system, Rail CRC
2002-2004, Development of an in-cab advice system, Rail CRC.
1998-2000, A new generation of railway modelling tools, SPIRT
1991-1993, Scheduling and control of trains, GIRD
1989-1990, Technology transfer and further development of a railway fuel conservation system, NERDDC
1988-1989, Energy conservation on long haul trains, NERDDC
1986-1987, Freight locomotive fuel conservation system, NERDDC
Xuan Vu, 2006, Analysis of necessary conditions for the optimal control of a train.
Jaixing Cheng, 1997, Analysis of optimal driving strategies for train control problems.
D Coleman, C Stoltz, PJ Pudney, PG Howlett, X Vu & AR Albrecht, 'Using simulation to assess the benefits of energy-efficient driving strategies', Proceedings of the 9th Annual International Heavy Haul Conference, Shanghai, 2009.
P Howlett, P Pudney & X Vu, 'Local energy minimization in optimal train control', Automatica, vol. 45, no. 11, 2009, pp. 2692-2698.
P Pudney, C Stolz & P Campbell, 'Using energy-efficient journeys to calculate section running times', AusRAIL PLUS, 17-19 November 2009, Adelaide.
P Howlett, P Pudney & X Vu, 'Estimating train parameters with an Unscented Kalman filter’, Proceedings of the Fifth Asia-Pacific Industrial Engineering and Management Systems Conference, Gold Coast, 12-15 December 2004, ed. E Kozan, Queensland University of Technology.
R Yee & P Pudney, 'Saving fuel on long-haul trains: FreightMiser initial trial results’, Proceedings of CORE 2004 Conference of Railway Engineering, Darwin, 20-23 June 2004.
J Cheng, Y Davydova, P Howlett & P Pudney, 'Optimal driving strategies for a train journey with non-zero track gradient and speed limits', IMA Journal of Mathematics Applied in Business and Industry, vol. 10, 1999, pp. 89-115.
PG Howlett & PJ Pudney, Energy-Efficient Train Control, Advances in Industrial Control, Springer, London, 1995.
Areas of study and research
- Health Research
- Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA)
- Centre for Cancer Biology
- Centre for Drug Discovery and Development
- Centre for Population Health Research
- Centre of Research Excellence for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote High Risk Populations
- International Centre for Allied Health Evidence
- Medicine and Device Surveillance CRE
- Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre
and Social Sciences
- Art, Architecture and Design
- Communication, International Studies and Languages
- Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy
- Hawke Research Institute
- Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety
- Australian Centre for Child Protection
- Barbara Hardy Institute
- Centre for Research in Education
- Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Islamic Thought and Education
- International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding
- Research Centre for Languages and Cultures
- Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b)
IT, Engineering and
- Future Industries Institute
- UniSA College