Upgrading University of Huddersfield Bogie and Wheelset Test Rig

Upgrading University of Huddersfield Bogie and Wheelset Test Rig

Ricardo is delighted to have been chosen by the University of Huddersfield to upgrade its bogie/wheelset dynamics testing rig, HAROLD.

HAROLD is a full-scale rolling contact, adhesion and braking test rig installed within the University’s Institute of Railway Research (IRR).

huddersfield bogie wheelset test rig

Originally commissioned in 2015 as the UK’s only full-size rig of its kind, it features a motored rolling road that can drive one wheelset of a standard gauge trailer bogie at speeds up to 200kph, exerting real-world forces via its hydraulic actuation system.

It has been used to support research programmes ranging from wheel and rail profile design to material fatigue, noise and vibration analysis, adhesion and braking optimisation.

Following the award of £1 million capital funding from the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network, the University sought to upgrade the HAROLD facility with additional functionality to enable research teams to develop brake blending algorithms (to ensure friction and dynamic braking is co-ordinated) and investigate energy flow under realistic electric vehicle journey simulations.

Ricardo has been appointed to help deliver the upgrade, which is based on integrating a new control system and three-phase motor bogie into the rig, with a new motor drive integrated with that of the rolling road to circulate energy around the rig. A commercially available Wheel Slide Protection unit will also be integrated.

Professor Paul Allen, Assistant Director of the IRR, explained:

“In helping realise predictable and optimised traction and braking performance, the HAROLD 2.0 test rig will contribute to delivering a safer, more reliable and higher capacity railway. Through testing and development of hybrid vehicle concepts, it will support the railway industry in overcoming its wider decarbonisation and electrification challenges.”

Design, Procurement and Systems Integration Support

Our teams will develop the concept, undertake detailed design, and specify and procure all components. We will also design the rewinding of the bogie motor and undertake the control system design, electrical and pneumatic systems integration, assembly and final configuration of the upgraded rig.

Liam Purcell, Principal Consultant in Ricardo’s UK Rail business, said:

“We are delighted to assist the University of Huddersfield with the upgrade the HAROLD facility. Drawing on the expertise of colleagues from our Rail, Automotive and Industrial businesses, we will be supporting the installation of an electric motor bogie and the integration of its electric drive, pneumatic braking system and Wheel Slide Protection system. We will also update the HAROLD control system to provide the additional functionality.

“Following final verification activities, we will hand over an operational rig accompanied by detailed manuals and compliance documentation.”

Expected to be operational by summer 2022, ‘HAROLD 2.0’ will enable researchers to develop brake blending algorithms, conduct Hardware-in-the-Loop testing, and investigate adhesion, energy flow and vehicle dynamics under a range of realistic journey simulations.

The enhanced rig will join other recent rail research investments by the University, such as a High-Speed Pantograph Testing rig and a passenger comfort/motion simulator.

This article was originally published by Ricardo Rail.

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