Energy efficiency in railway systems, key factor in its sustainability, is becoming more and more important and did not go unnoticed by the section of Railway Engineering at Delft University of Technology. In spite to use less energy in railway systems a research was initialised by ProRail, University of Twente and Delft University of Technology. The research was carried out by Evert van Veldhuizen as master assignment in which the feasibility of recuperation technologies in the Dutch railway system was addressed. During the research it was soon recognized that it was difficult to compare various technologies when purely based on literature, due to varying parameters like time-scheduling, track-lay out, location of substations etc.
In order to make a solid and sound comparison the KERAT (Kinetic Energy Recovery Analysis Tool) software was developed, which makes it possible to adequately test energy efficiency technologies under equal circumstances and equal objectives. The software program simulates energy flows in railway traction systems and makes it possible to adequately compare various energy efficiency techniques in the Dutch railway system.
The KERAT software seems a promising tool to further optimize the Dutch railway system and is still in development at TU Delft.