There had been a substantial interest in the traction community to use wayside Energy Storage Systems (ESS) to better utilize train braking energy and thus achieve reduction of energy cost and peak power, and voltage stabilization. An alternative solution to reach the same goals is using recuperating (also called regenerating) traction power stations such as a Reversible Thyristor Controlled Rectifiers (RTCR). The paper compares advantages and disadvantages of ESS of three most common types — flywheels, batteries and supercapacitors — and RTCR. The analysis takes into account size, capital cost, the “round trip” energy losses and energy savings for heavy rail applications.

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