Mitsubishi has begun testing its new energy-saving traction converter/inverter systems on JR Central’s N700 Shinkansen bullet train. The new traction systems, which have all-silicon carbide (SiC) power modules, are significantly smaller and lighter than existing systems.
The technology has already been trialed on Odakyu Electric Railway’s 1000 series trains. Initial results showed a 17 per cent power saving and a 34.1 per cent increase in the vehicle’s energy saving capability. Mitsubishi Electric believes it is the first time a 3.3kV, 1500A traction system has been installed on a high-speed route.
Mitsubishi Electric has been working to downsize its traction system for Shinkansen bullet trains. The use of SiC power modules reduces the new converter/inverter system’s size and weight by about 55% and 35%, respectively, compared to existing systems. The weight of the traction motor, including this system, is reduced by about 15%.
The power modules were developed with support from Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).