The main goal of this work is the evaluation of the energy saving achievable in railway drive when using the coasting technique extensively, with reference to a practical case of the Italian railway network taken as an example. This technique consists in exploiting the kinetic energy accumulated by the running train whenever possible. To implement a driving style on purpose, the only driver contribution is not enough; indeed, it is necessary to provide an embedded automatic calculation control system. In the paper, an algorithm has been developed to evaluate the energy absorption of railway locomotives during the normal service and validated on a real railway line. The proposed hardware and software system could be implemented aboard the train, allowing motion data processing in real-time. Speed, time intervals and power absorption for a given path are calculated; then, the best coasting parameters are estimated to maximize the energy savings. In particular, the case study presented in the paper showed that the fast-run strategy, always adopted by the railway company to recover an unexpected delay, can lead to a negligible time recovery with respect to the coasting strategy, while determining a significantly larger energy consumption.
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