The London Underground through the use of a new technology is becoming more efficient in terms of energy use! They are actually using the ‘regenerative braking’ method which allows to reuse the energy that is dissipated when the metro coaches slow down. Transport for London (TfL) announces that this system will save 5% of the costs associated to electricity which is up to six million pounds a year. This money will be reinvested in the improvement and the modernization of the entire transport system.
The system is based on an ‘inverter’ technology which allows the recovery of energy by capturing the energy generated by the brakes and by sending it to the network as electricity. This also allows an indirect energy saving: the heat generated by metro slowdown is currently dissipated in the tunnels and so it becomes necessary to activate huge air conditioning systems in order to limit the phenomenon. With this new technology costs for the air conditioning systems will be cut and the environmental impact will be limited.
The regenerative braking system has already been tried in some stations with excellent results: in a week the new technology has recovered enough energy to power a station for more than two days.
“The results of this initiative are really exceptional. The plan makes London the forefront of this kind of technology and highlights how energy can be recovered from the trains, making the network environmentally friendly and economical”, said Matthew Pencharz, the British councilor for the Environment and Energy sector.