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Rail vehicles

Control of hybrid drives with J1939

When used on rail vehicles, the Luetze Dioline PLC compact controller enables decentralized and autonomous preprocessing of functions below the main control level. The main control is thus relieved and becomes more reliable.

The PLC control system manages the motors via an MVB-CAN gateway (Photo: Luetze)

AN APPLICATION FOR THE DIOLINE PLC compact control system can be found in the Alstom vehicles Coradia Polyvalent. These vehicles are used for local transportation in eleven French regions. A special feature of this vehicle type is the use of several hybrid drives. They are driven by diesel aggregates or catenaries. The PLC control nodes are used on these trains as "decentral intelligence" and control the motor management functions.

The control effort on modern rail vehicles is continually developing. In addition to the control technology for motor management functions, stricter safety and comfort standards demand greater control requirements. Processing of this high signal density at the main control level would be disadvantageous, as the main control would be overloaded with many non-critical signals. Also, a tailoring to only one main control does not provide any redundancies and thus could affect reliability.

The PLC control system manages the motors via an MVB-CAN gateway (Photo: Luetze)

Decentralized data preprocessing

A modularized preprocessing of all signals with the Dioline PLC controller at subsystem level is a solution. The PLC allows "distributed intelligence" with partial control functions below the main control level. This relieves the central control system and the bus system, reduces response times to critical signals, simplifies troubleshooting, and increases availability through modularization and therefore greater failure safety.

Up to six compact controls provide the congenial hardware platform in the form of remote bus units on the Coradia Polyvalent as used by SNCF (National society of French railways). This platform allows flexible fieldbus configurations: firstly, via MVB for the communication with the main control system in the vehicle and secondly via J1939 for the communication with the motor unit (an Alstom Powerpack). All functions of the PLC can be programmed (according to IEC 61131-3). The modules are available as I/O interfaces with analog and digital I/Os. These assemblies are integrated via the Luetze L-bus Interface.

Motor management for the electro-diesel hybrid drive

Alstom employs up to six Powerpacks for the Coradia Polyvalent regional trains. The Powerpack is a combined diesel-electro drive system that integrates individual components: a diesel motor (340 kW) that, in combination with the generator, forms a power aggregate and supplies DC power to the drive chain.

The PLC control system manages the motors via an MVB-CAN gateway (Photo: Luetze)

Each PLC acts as a slave of the main control. The management of the diesel motor control as well as the cooling unit is controlled via the J1939 interface. For this, Luetze developed the PLC’s J1939 interface library for communication with the motor control device from MAN as well as the cooling system from Bosch Rexroth.

The PLC records and processes the signals for the RPM target value, stator, supply, and particle filter temperature, for the filling level of the motor oil, and the water level in the cooling system. All data is recorded and processed separately for each Powerpack.

Individualized PLC designed for Alstom needs

Luetze modified the PLC to meet the special needs of the Coradia Polyvalent. It developed a J1939 interface library for communication between the PLC and the motor control unit from MAN, as well as an expansion board with digital inputs for the control system PLC in order to encode the position in the vehicle via these configuration inputs. The internal diagnostic memory of the PLC was extended to 1 MiB. Internal and external plug connectors with gold-plated contacts are used.