Rail News

Siemens to Design and Build New Static Frequency Converter for Amtrak

Image Courtesy of Siemens

Amtrak has contracted with Siemens to build a new Sitras SFC plus static frequency converter for upgrading its facility in northern New Jersey. The order includes the delivery, installation and commissioning of two 30-megawatt converter units as well as the integration of the multilevel traction converter into the existing Amtrak 25-Hertz traction power supply network to enable parallel operation with the existing converters.

The Metuchen static frequency converter is due to be completed in 2017. This converter upgrading project is part of the New Jersey High Speed Rail Improvement Program (HSRIP) being carried out by Amtrak between Trenton and New Brunswick, NJ. The new Amtrak ACS-64 electric locomotives built by Siemens have been operating on the Northeast Corridor since February 2014.

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Siemens and Amtrak Multilevel Direct Converters

“Siemens is currently the only supplier of multilevel direct converters. They can be universally used in both central and decentralized traction power supply networks and are already successfully operating internationally,” said Elmar Zeiler, Head of the Siemens Rail Electrification Business.

The Sitras SFC plus static frequency converter is a multilevel direct converter that supplies single-phase traction power networks from three-phase networks. It essentially consists of only one converter that directly couples the two networks. The three-phase AC voltage is directly converted into a single-phase AC voltage with different frequency. Due to its multilevel technology, no traction transformer is needed to feed the overhead contact line.

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Siemens’ static frequency converters have been successfully in use worldwide since 1994, including the 180-megawatt station operating for Amtrak in the Philadelphia area. Examples of the latest generation of the modular multilevel direct converter Sitras SFC plus are in service in Hggvik and Eskilstuna in Sweden, as well as in Nuremberg, Rostock, Adamsdorf, Frankfurt/Oder and Cottbus in Germany.

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