GE Power Conversion to supply system upgrade for Network Rail’s Innovation and Development Centre

  • GE Power Conversion has secured an order for Network Rail for upgrade of the existing phase balancer control and cooling system at their Rail Innovation and Development Centre in Melton Mowbray, UK.
  • The scope of supply is upgrade of the control and cooling system including design, manufacture, delivery, installation and commissioning and incorporation of a GE Visor facility for remote diagnostics.
  • The upgrade will enable testing of innovative technology for the rail infrastructure, in addition to delivering enhanced performance of the system itself.

GE Power Conversion has been awarded an order from Network Rail for the upgrade of the phase balancer control and cooling system at its Rail Innovation and Development Centre (RIDC) in Melton Mowbray, near Leicester, UK. 

The RIDC site is a specific track system that provides a safe environment for testing new trains before they operate on the wider UK rail network. The site has been purpose built to support both high and low speed testing of vehicle and infrastructure using eleven miles of 25 kV overhead line equipment and third and fourth rail DC electric equipment. Network Rail is now focusing on reducing the rail transport carbon footprint and a push for innovation, and the RIDC facility is a key infrastructure enabling this drive.

Trains, operating as single-phase electric loads, can inherently create imbalance on three-phase supplies, with harmonic contents leading to a less efficient power network. The phase balancer, as its name suggests, helps to improve power quality by balancing the electrical network, as well as reducing the losses created by the harmonics. Once upgraded, the phase balancer will allow the system to operate better within electrical performance requirements and improve the carbon footprint of the site.

GE Power Conversion has been contracted to update the phase balancer control system along with other elements, including the thyristor control and cooling plant systems. The new equipment supports utilization of the existing power modules and filter banks. The updated system will also feature GE’s Visor Remote Monitoring and Diagnostics (RM&D) digital portal.

Peter Oram, Sales and Commercial Director at GE Power Conversion, said: “GE Power Conversion is pleased to be partnering with Network Rail and helping to deliver this important rail electrification programme. Network Rail’s objectives are aligned to a wider trend within the transport sector to improving energy efficiency performance and bringing in new technology that can deliver cleaner energy, in support of the UK government’s on-going Net Zero journey.”

Satnam Thiara, RIDC Business Development Manager, says: “Our progressive drive to reduce our carbon impact and deliver energy efficiency directly benefits RIDC customers and enables them to continue to advance innovation and technology for the rail industry, we look forward to working with GE to update the phase balancer.”

About GE Power Conversion

GE Power Conversion, part of GE Vernova, applies the science and systems of power conversion to help drive the electric transformation of the world’s energy infrastructure. Designing and delivering advanced motor, drive and control technologies that help improve the efficiency and decarbonization of energy-intense processes and systems, helping to accelerate the energy transition across marine, energy and industrial applications. GE Power Conversion is at the heart of electrifying tomorrow's energy.

About GE

GE (NYSE:GE) drives the world forward by tackling its biggest challenges. By combining world-class engineering with software and analytics, GE helps the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today it leads new paradigms in additive manufacturing, materials science, and data analytics. GE people are global, diverse, and dedicated, operating with the highest integrity and passion to fulfil GE’s mission and deliver for our customers.

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