The experts of SkyWay Technologies Co. conducted preliminary tests of power supply systems, charging and current collector elements from the track structure and testing of new solutions of rolling stock power supply elements.
The tests were conducted on a segment of a rigid truss track structure (designed for the movement of urban and high-speed vehicles) with the participation of the «mule», which is a testing version of the Unibus U4-362. The section of the truss flyover was subjected to the design voltage, and the current-collector elements were tested through the wheels of the vehicle without the application of a separate contact network. The tests were carried out under load during the movement of the vehicle in various modes of power supply to the motor-wheels, including charging of batteries through string rails during the motion of the unibus.
Preliminary tests have shown the correctness of the initial solutions on the power supply elements of the vehicles and the efficiency of the current design of the track structure as a contact network for the movement of vehicles. In the near future, the company plans to increase the speed and traction-dynamic characteristics of the movement during testing of vehicles with current collection, with access to the operating modes.
Current collection is one of the possible power supply options for the SkyWay rolling stock. If necessary, vehicles in SkyWay transport infrastructure complexes can be equipped with various types of power units. Particularly, this was mentioned by Anatoli Unitsky, General Designer of SkyWay, in his scientific monograph «SkyWay Transport System in questions and answers»:
«The SkyWay rail car is a kind of conventional car mounted on steel wheels. Like a traditional car, it can be driven by a diesel, gasoline engine, turbine, or can have a combined drive, for example, «diesel — electric generator — energy storage — electric motor». If necessary, the engine can run on natural gas, methane, hydrogen, alcohol and other environmentally friendly fuels. SkyWay can also be electrified using an external electrical power source (such as in a trolleybus, tram or subway). There can also be used an autonomous source of energy — batteries, installed onboard of the unibus, energy storage capacitor, molecular or other type, fuel batteries, etc.».
The first description of current collection through wheels in string transport was given by engineer Anatoli Unitsky 24 years ago in his first scientific monograph «String Transport Systems: on Earth and in Space». Current collection through wheels will make it possible to abandon both the unreliable, short-lived and expensive traditional contact network, especially at high travel speeds, and the expensive, unreliable and short-lived traditional energy storage. The peculiarity of such current collection is that the sliding contact is replaced by a rolling contact, which eliminates slippage, wear, sparks, radio emissions in a wide range of frequencies and other disadvantages of traditional contact networks.
Existing SkyWay power storage units meet the highest standards of efficiency and safety, and at this stage in the development of SkyWay technology can already be used on commercial routes to supplement and duplicate the contact network in the event of a power failure.
In addition, the string transport system company-developer is designing innovative alternative versions of power plants for vehicles, the information about which remains closed at present.