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Vitry-sur-Seine, France

Mercier S.,University of Pau and Pays de lAdour | Meier-Hirmer C.,SNCF | Roussignol M.,University Paris Est Creteil
Structure and Infrastructure Engineering

This article discusses the intervention scheduling of a railway track, based on the observation of two dependent randomly increasing deterioration indicators. These two indicators are modelled through a bivariate Gamma process constructed by trivariate reduction. Empirical and maximum likelihood estimators are given for the process parameters and tested on simulated data. An expectation-maximisation (EM) algorithm is used to compute the maximum likelihood estimators. A bivariate Gamma process is then fitted to real data of railway track deterioration. Intervention scheduling is defined, ensuring that the railway track remains of good quality with a high probability. The results arecompared to those based on both indicators taken separately, and also on one single indicator. The policy based onthe joint information is proved to be safer than the other ones, which shows the potential of the bivariate model. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

« Saft signs ~€4M contract with SNCF for MRX Ni-Cd on-board train battery systems | Main | Navitas Systems awarded $7.2M contract to develop Gen 2 Li-ion military vehicle 6T batteries » Innovations in autonomous vehicles, connectivity, and mobility-on-demand will have a profound impact on consumers, particularly among younger and older people, according to a new study by KPMG. With these age groups set to embrace these technological and transformational changes, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the US will soar by approximately one trillion additional miles per year by 2050. According to KPMG’s research, which consisted of consumer focus groups in Atlanta, Chicago and Denver, two generations will largely drive consumer demand in the future, the millennials and the “baby boomers plus”—ranging from 45 to 75 years. However, in every age group, participants showed significant attraction to mobility on demand for specific conditions or circumstances, including safety, weather, premium experience, and leisure time. According to KPMG’s Gary Silberg, National Automotive Leader for KPMG, the increasing desire for mobility options will present “huge opportunities for new entrants and business models in the auto industry.” Think of it this way: 10 years ago, how many of us would have predicted that most 10-year-olds would be walking around with smartphones? We grossly underestimated that trend. The automotive landscape will significantly change as a result of autonomous vehicles, and consumer behavior will dictate the rate of adoption. Like the smartphone, let’s not underestimate the power of these changes and the vast potential for new business models to satisfy them. The 45-to-75-year-olds. Among the boomers plus, people are living longer, delaying retirement, and moving to cities. Older boomers, however, have concerns about the safety of their driving as they age. So do their children. They are not going to stop being active, however, and won't be intimidated by mobility options. They want their freedom of mobility. Silberg noted that “their almost-instant attraction to mobility services comes from a common concern expressed in the focus groups. With mobility services, people don’t have to worry about taking the keys away from older parents, and don’t have to worry about their driving.” The 10-to-15-year-olds. Children and the parents of children share the boomers’ interest in mobility-on-demand services but for different reasons. For the children, it’s all about freedom without having to get their parents or someone else to drive. Relying on Uber? Via? Lyft? An autonomous vehicle in the future? No problem. They’ve grown up not only tech savvy but instinctively trusting in technology. In fact, the only limitation on their use of mobility-on-demand services will be their parents view on when they are old enough to put them in an Uber or Lyft on their own. “Parents like the idea of not having to play taxi for their kids,” said Silberg. “And mobility-on-demand will be especially attractive for parents in the future who will hesitate less to use these services.” Impact to vehicle miles. These increases in personal miles traveled (PMT) can ripple into even larger fluctuations in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as vehicle occupancy rates change. For example, if more people started to select new self-driving options in the future—then we could see twice as much demand. And if we moved into a scenario occupancy rates fell below one person per car—for example, many self-driving cars without passengers—then the increase could be a staggering three to four trillion additional miles by 2050, according to KPMG. Those increases would have a profound but unknown impact on vehicle sales, car ownership models, energy demand, and infrastructure. To be quite frank, I’m not sure people understand the enormity of the change, nor are we ready for it.

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Saft has signed an agreement with SNCF, the national railway operator in France, to provide nickel-based batteries for over 200 trains, which employ the Alstom Coradia Duplex electric multiple unit (EMU) platform. These trains can achieve 160 km/h and are used in regional routes in France. The Saft/SNCF contract has been valued at about €4 million. Pierre-André Nutte, the Saft Sales Manager for Railways & Mobility in France answered some questions for CleanTechnica about the batteries. 1. What will adding Saft battery systems do to help these trains perform better? Saft’s Alkalines batteries deliver superior reliability and availability. For instance, they are not subject to sudden death, so there is no service interruption. Saft batteries offer longer life (less battery replacement), high performances at low temperatures (no defect during train set-up in winter) and resistance to abuse (no replacement after deep discharge). Saft’s technology brings the highest level of safety for the train’s passengers. 2. Where on each train will they be installed? Batteries are located inside a dedicated electrical cabinet in the train. Batteries are provided in sliding battery trays for easy access and maintenance. Saft designed these trays in order to fit in the existing electrical cabinet. 3. What is the size of each train’s battery system? One battery is made of three battery trays. Each of the tray dimensions are approximately 450x700x550 mm (hxLxd). 4. How long does it take to install a battery system? Saft batteries are delivered fully assembled in each battery tray; designed and qualified by Saft. When the former battery is removed, the installation is rather quick as it only requires screwing the tray onto the sliders, and then connecting the electrical cables. It takes approximately less than an hour on the end-user side. 5. What is the cost of each battery system? While we cannot disclose specific customer information, Saft’s solution was economical for SNCF in terms of LCC/TCO. This is one of the reasons our customer replaced all existing batteries with Saft’s technology. 6. The Saft batteries are nickel-based…why is using this material better than using lead-acid which is what the trains use now? The Saft Nickel-based batteries are, by design & construction, not subject to sudden death. They are working at very low temperature (no problem of train set-up in winter). They have lower weight, require less maintenance and have a higher reliability. This is essential to ensure the highest level of passenger safety. 7. What do these French trains carry, and about how many miles or kilometers does each train travel each year? This is a regional train carrying passengers in many French regions: Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Lorraine, Pays de la Loire, Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Haute-Normandie, Centre Val de Loire, Picardie. 8. What will be the financial benefits of using the Saft batteries for the railway? The LCC/TCO analysis of SNCF showed the profitability of using Saft’s batteries. In fact, Saft batteries offer longer life (less battery replacement), high reliability (no service interruption), high performances at low temperatures (no defect during train set-up in winter) and resistance to abuse (no replacement after deep discharge). All these features cut the operational costs of the train. 9. What will be the environmental benefits? Saft’s nickel-based batteries have a longer life and lower weight than L/A batteries. It results in fewer replacements, less waste generated and therefore, the amount of resources consumed is minimized. A full life cycle analysis comparing L/A and Saft nickel-based batteries for on-board application, led by a reputable environmental consulting firm, concluded the environmental impacts of Saft’s solution were significantly lower than alternatives. 10. The MRX batteries have a service life of 15 years…how much maintenance is required and what is necessary to keep them in good condition? Saft batteries require minimal maintenance. Typical water topping-up interval is 2 years. In addition, topping-up could be performed with Saft’s Water Filling System: one inlet and one outlet, to fill at the right level all the cells of the battery without any risk of missing one cell. The Saft automated water filling station makes this operation even easier and safer. Pushing the start button to run the topping-up, the station automatically stops when the battery is filled. 11. When they expire, can they be recycled? Saft nickel-based batteries are recycled at the end of their long service life of 15 years in fully permitted recycling facilities located in America, the European Union and Asia. Over 75 percent of the weight of the used battery is reused in industry, either as raw material for the manufacturer of new nickel-based batteries, or alternatively in other industries such as stainless steel production. Image Credit: 4rail.info, John Mckey    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  

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« Oil Jobs Lost: 250,000 And Counting; Texas Likely To See Massive Layoffs Soon | Main | Saft signs ~€4M contract with SNCF for MRX Ni-Cd on-board train battery systems » LG Chem is providing 140 MWh worth of batteries for use in ESS systems for STEAG power plants in Germany. (Earlier post.) As part of the world’s largest ESS (energy storage systems) project, STEAG GBS (Großbatterie-Systeme) plants belonging to the German power supplier in North-Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate will be modernized. With 140 MWh, the storage systems will deliver enough energy to supply 10,000 households per day with electricity. LG Chem’s storage systems are due to be commissioned in STEAG’s power plants in Herne, Lünen and Duisburg-Walsum, as well as in Bexbach, Fenne and Weiher starting in the middle of 2016 and running until the beginning of 2017. The large-scale lithium-ion batteries from the South Korean company have a power capacity of 90 MW, allowing STEAG to rapidly increase its output in the regions mentioned. Integrating the energy storage systems will enable several thousand households to be supplied with energy every day. This project is a collaborative effort between LG Chem and Nidec ASI, an expert in electrical motors and generators. The ESS storage systems, consisting of batteries from LG Chem and the PCS and EMS solutions from Nidec ASI, are being used by STEAG to generate primary balancing power. This energy storage capacity is used to offset short-term, unforeseen fluctuations on the grid. The six battery systems will be operated independently of the STEAG power plants. Thanks to the ESS technology, power will be automatically taken off the grid within a few seconds whenever there is an over-supply of energy. Conversely energy will be fed into the grid to keep the frequency constant at 50 Hz. According to market research company Navigant Research, the ESS market is set to grow from its current level of US$1.1 billion (€1.0 billion) to US$7.4 billion (€7.0 billion) within the next five years. LG Chem’s plan is to help shape this development through its partnership with Nidec ASI in the German market.

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The organisers of the COP21 climate conference must welcome tens of thousands of participants to a site near the French capital, house them, feed and transport them, and do so in the greenest conditions possible (AFP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure) More Paris (AFP) - The organisers of the COP21 climate conference starting in Paris in a month's time are faced with an unenviable task as they prepare for an event that it is hoped will produce a new roadmap to stop the Earth warming. They must welcome tens of thousands of participants to a site near the French capital, house them, feed and transport them, and do so in the greenest conditions possible, with the world's media dissecting every aspect of the event's organisation. With US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping among more than 80 world leaders attending the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference -- the biggest international meet in France since the Universal Declaration of Human rights was drawn up in 1948 -- security will also be tight when proceedings open on November 30. But above all else, as world leaders come together aiming to reach a single agreement on tackling climate change, with the goal of capping warming at two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels -- the conference has to be ecologically exemplary. This conference is "exceptional in every way, because of its duration (two weeks), the seriousness of what is at stake which affects us all, and because it brings together a great number of participants," said the official in charge, Pierre-Henri Guignard. A temporary town is being built at Le Bourget near Paris to host the event, with organisers claiming it has been planned according to the principles of sustainable development. The 40-acre site includes 60 buildings that house meeting rooms, restaurants, shops, a bank, a post office, a 24-hour press centre for 3,000 journalists and medical facilities -- and through all of that runs a covered avenue. The estimated 21,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases expected to be produced by the site will be offset after the conference by projects in the Southern Hemisphere, the French government says. French company Engie is supplying a condensing boiler that recovers the lost energy generated in the traditional combustion process, a technique the firm says delivers greatly increased efficiency. There will also be so-called "wind trees" -- effectively windmills -- while Ikea will supply furniture, Google the computer screens and the Renault-Nissan group are providing 200 electric cars. The 900 trees sacrificed for the wood in the giant room that will host the plenary sessions for 2,000 delegates will be replanted. "The materials we are using have already been used, we are using them again and they will be used once again after the COP," said Patrick Bazanan, of Decoral, the company building part of the site. The collection of restaurants, snack stands, cafes and food trucks that will serve the delegates have been ordered to cut down on wasteful packaging. By using biodegradable and returnable glasses and cups, two million plastic cups will be saved from the waste containers. All cutlery will also be made from biodegradable materials, said Jean-Francois Camarty from catering firm Elior. As you would expect, recycling bins will be situated throughout the site and electric-powered vehicles will pick up the waste. With the organisers acutely aware of coming under scrutiny for "food miles", "74 percent of the food products will be made in France" and where possible they will come from a 200-kilometre radius, Camarty said. Ten thousand bread rolls will be baked on the site every day and any unsold meals will be donated to charity. To reach the site, delegates are being urged to use public transport, and are being given free travel passes as an incentive. The French national rail company SNCF has taken measures to transport an additional 70,000 people every day on the suburban rail line that links the centre of the capital with Le Bourget. But at least one group is shunning the list of official hotels and opting for a truly "green" form of accommodation -- a 100-strong French group of Young Ecologists have opted to pitch tents and camp during the conference. They have joined the umbrella organisation, Coalition Climat 21, to criticise the organisers for failing to provide enough accommodation for the thousands of activists expected to demonstrate during the conference.

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