AMPS Innovative Modular Hybrid Gen-set Technology

AMPS Innovative Modular Hybrid Gen-set Technology

With the help of a New Technology Research and Development (NTRD) grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Alternative Motive Power Systems (AMPS) is developing the first modular gen-set package with a hybrid gen-set module in the road switcher/short line locomotive marketplace. This Multiple GenSet/Hybrid Gen-set model will provide an ideal cost effective product to address emission reduction needs while filling the heavy duty application requirements of the market and is particularly suited to road switcher/short line locomotives which operate below 35 mph. “While my background is with locomotives, we have brought our diversity of experience with locomotives, port container handling equipment and military vehicles to bear on this locomotive” [Dan Frederick, Principal, AMPS]. To date, no manufacturer other than AMPS is offering a hybrid gen-set option.

Assembly of the proto-type locomotive will be performed by Railserve Inc., a Marmon Group/Berkshire Hathaway Company. Load and emissions testing of the prototype in comparison to a conventional switcher locomotive will take place at a rail yard in Houston, Texas and will be carried out by infoWedge, a California based emissions’ measurement company.

It is anticipated that repowering a conventional road switching locomotive with AMPS GenSet/Hybrid Gen-set package can reduce NOx emissions by up to 98% and achieve fuel savings of 65%. While gen-set locomotives are a proven technology which considerably reduces emissions and fuel consumption, Frederick estimates that an additional 25% NOx reduction and 20% fuel saving can be achieved by repowering a road switching locomotive with AMPS new GenSet/Hybrid Gen-Set package compared to the results achieved through repowering with conventional gen-set technology. This increased emissions reduction is achieved, in part, by completely eliminating “idle emissions” by use of the on-board battery pack. For railcar movement indoors or in sensitive areas, the Hybrid Gen-set locomotive will be able to function for short periods of time with zero emissions due to the ability to operate without running the internal combustion engine. In addition, AMPS Sweet Spot Control Technology (SSC) optimizes both the efficiency and performance of individual systems and as a result, affords dramatic improvements in longevity of the locomotive power and control system as well as traction motors.

AMPS’ modular approach affords the ability for end users to configure their locomotive to fit their precise requirements. “You can mix and match gen-set modules and hybrid modules as your applications demand. Choose zero, one, two or three gen-set or hybrid modules. They are interchangeable and will perform together seamlessly. This locomotive will set new standards for efficiency, performance and value” [Dan Frederick].

The AMPS modular Gen-set system will be available in “kit” form or as a complete locomotive the last quarter of 2012. Owners of road switcher/short line locomotives operating in Texas may be eligible to apply for grant funding towards the purchase of the GenSet/Hybrid Gen-set package through the TCEQ’s TERP program, or those operating in California may be eligible for funding under California Air Resources Board’s Diesel Programs. (Check the websites to ascertain if funding is currently available).

AMPS has developed a strong reputation in the market place which will enhance the commercialization of this technology. In a head to head comparison with three other gen-set locomotive manufacturers, AMPS traction control methodology utilized in the Railserve LEAF™ (Lower Emissions and Fuel) locomotive proved superior to all three competitors’ products. In addition, AMPS has successfully implemented its power and control system in off-road and military vehicles.

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