Project: Smart De-Icing Machine with 3-D Vision System for Trains.

Winters, from the last decades have been very harsh, with long periods of temperatures below zero especially in Northern Europe, Asia and North America. Cold weather, in combination with snow, moisture and wind, causes train delays, capacity losses and bad quality due to snow and ice in the railway assets and on the trains. Piles of ice and snow accumulate on the under-frames and bogies. This can damage couplings and cables between vehicles, as well as safety-critical components such as brakes and bearings. It can even force trains out of service, which imposes large costs on train operators. Finally, any work on or about railroad car relating to the repair, monitoring, inspecting and COtenance (e-g. including de-icing ) must include issue such as worker safety. There are different approaches and requirements for de-icing trains; e.g. freight wagons without electronic equipment are less sensitive to hot water than passenger carriages with electronic devices and different openings, e.g. for ventilation. The experience of the iron ore company LKAB shows that the wind has a great impact on the front of the first wagons of the train, but also that the sides freeze more quickly. A de-icing facility for an iron ore wagon must therefore be able to heat the front and sides, but also the hatches, at the same time as the train is rolling through an unloading station. For passenger trains it is the under-frames and the bogies that need to be cleared from snow and ice. Hot water or glycol should not be sprayed on electrical motors and connection boxes. Old trains with DC motors are also more vulnerable to damage due to glycol and hot water. Furthermore, there are also environmental restrictions, especially concerning the use of glycol as a deicer/ anti-icer. The methods and systems utilized for de-icing and preventing snow and ice from accumulating on trains and tracks have often been developed nationally, but knowledge of and information on the different methods and systems clearly require a European collaborative development. In order to enhance the preparedness and COtain the capacity and reliability of the European railway system in all weather conditions, devices are required for de-icing trains. The whole SOLICE project comprises the study, design, development, manufacture, test and sales of a railroad de-icing device with a 3-D vision system. This project includes the study and development of an innovative non-thermal De-icing machine for the underneath of trains; and the design of a vision-guided robotic system including a 3D camera and software determining the 3-D coordinates of the ice/snow accumulates. _x000D_The SOLICE device will allow reducing considerably: _x000D_- Energy consumption and water use. Many of the actual de-icing facilities are energy consumers. Electricity, natural gas, biogas, district heating, steam, water, and antifreeze can be used to increase the de-icing capability. For instance, the experience of the VR Group in Finland is that hot-water de-icing is very energy intensive. The energy bill can be very high even If the water is recycled. Based on their calculations it can take up to 175 m3 of water and up to 10 MWh of energy to de-ice one Pendolino train (Benchmarking de-icing and ant-icing systems for trains and wagons and switches and crossings, Ulla Juntti, Luleå Railway Research Center, 2011). A great innovation of the SOLICE solution is the use of ultrasounds for de-icing meaning that the water consumption will be inexistent. - COtenance duration. Nowadays, the de-icing and anti-icing of the train and the track lead to a capacity shortage occurring due to wagons/trains having to be taken out of service because they cannot be maneuvered. Just de-icing by driving into a workshop, without any other activities being carried out, can take several days. Meanwhile, the trains are in the depot buildings, their use is limited. - Safety risks for train components. Hard de-icing treatment can damage couplings and cables between vehicles, as well as safety-critical components such as brakes and bearings. It can even force trains out of service, which imposes large costs on train operators _x000D_- Safety risks for the COtenance personnel. _x000D_- Safety risks for environment.

Acronym SOLICE (Reference Number: 7669)
Duration 01/02/2013 - 31/01/2015
Project Topic The CO objective of the SOLICE Project is the Study, Design and Development of a new generation of “smart de-icing machine” for railroad car controlled with a 3-D vision system which increase speed and energy efficiency for melting ice processes as well as worker safety and train security.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 9

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 Atumne Förvaltnings AB Partner Sweden
2 EPRI, S.A. Coordinator Spain