The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics (UT-CEM) is currently engaged in the development of an Advanced Locomotive Propulsion System (ALPS) for high speed passenger rail locomotives. The project is sponsored by the Federal Railroad Administration as part of the Next Generation High Speed Rail program. The goal of the ALPS project is to demonstrate the feasibility of an advanced locomotive propulsion system with the following features: • Operation up to 150 mph on existing infrastructure; • Acceleration comparable to electric locomotives; • Elimination of $3–5M per mile electrification costs; • Fuel efficient operation with low noise and exhaust emissions. The propulsion system consists of two major elements: a gas turbine prime mover driving a high speed generator and an energy storage flywheel with its associated motor/generator and power conversion equipment. The 2.5 MW high speed generator is a three phase, eight pole synchronous machine designed to directly couple to a 15,000 rpm gas turbine. Power from the turbine/alternator system feeds the locomotive dc bus through a conventional full bridge rectifier. The energy storage flywheel features a graphite/epoxy composite rotor operating on active magnetic bearings and is designed to store 480 MJ at 15,000 rpm. An induction motor/generator and variable frequency motor drive provide the link to the dc bus and are used to control power flow into and out of the flywheel. In addition to design and fabrication of the propulsion system components, the project is also developing a distributed control system with power management algorithms to optimize the hybrid propulsion system. Fabrication of the major components of the propulsion system is nearing completion and some preliminary testing of the flywheel and high speed generator has been completed. After completion of the laboratory testing, the propulsion system will be integrated onto a locomotive platform for rolling demonstrations at the Transportation Technology Center test track in Pueblo, Colorado. The paper presents an overview of the propulsion system operation and control strategies, gives detailed descriptions of the major components, and presents component test results.

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