About a year ago, KRUCH launched the energy flow simulation (KRUCH EFS) at Erzberg. The objective: To use diesel-electric catenary trucks on a newly electrified line to transport iron ore and thus make rock transport more environmentally friendly.

After successfully completing the test phase on a route some 600 m long, VA Erzberg utilized KRUCH EFS extensively to simulate a broad range of scenarios to determine critical electrical parameters in the run-up to the tender for the roughly 5-km long overhead contact system.

Following this rigorous test phase and successful simulation, the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the catenary system was held on 29 September 2020.

Innovation at Erzberg

In the future, diesel-electric trucks operating on overhead line technology will be used in the iron ore mine – but that’s not all: By converting its transport fleet, VA Erzberg will save a total of 3 million litres of diesel every single year, which translates into an overall fuel reduction of 66%. By utilizing the diesel-electric trolleytrucks, the amount of CO2 emissions is reduced by roughly 4,200 tonnes every year. In addition, their use also reduces the emission of nitrogen oxides and particulates. This places KRUCH on the cutting edge of innovation in transport at Erzberg. According to Josef Pappenreiter, Technical Director at VA Erzberg, “This newly developed technology is fundamentally different both from the overhead contact line system – in other words, a pole-mounted pantograph similar to a trolleybus – as well as from vehicle technology based on the technologies that have been available on the market up to now.”

It’s clear once again: Energy flow simulation is a resounding success

Obtaining such precise information about the planned network together with test data at this level of detail was only possible by means of the energy flow simulation. After all, “EFS identifies critical points in the electrical network and displays the current and the voltage of the consumer loads, such as streetcars and trolleybuses – or, as in the case of VA Erzberg, diesel-electric trucks – at any point in the network. The software can be used, for instance, to analyse substations and the vehicles’ energy consumption in detail,” says Josef Datzreiter, Managing Director of KRUCH Railway Innovations.