Reefer container power supply and supervision system onboard railway wagons

  • 1 Faculty of Engineering – University of Rijeka, the Republic of Croatia
  • 2 Transagent Ltd., the Republic of Croatia


Concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and environment protection in general, lead to application of new, eco-friendly solutions in almost all areas of human activities. Today, transportation is in the focus of many researchers since transport units generate substantial emissions locally as well as globally. Turning to electricity powered transportation units seems to be a logical step if global power production transitions to renewable energy sources (large hydro, wind, solar, biomass, etc). This paper demonstrates a technical solution applicable to reefer containers railway transport, as an alternative to road transport with conventional trucks or railway transport with diesel gen-sets. In fact, reefer containers are frequently used to transport sensitive goods. Therefore, containers must be almost constantly supplied with electric power to maintain desired ambient parameters (temperature, humidity, number of air changes per hour, etc.). An innovative technical solution which provides suitable power supply to reefer containers aboard wagons has been developed and tested in real-life conditions. Electrical power is drawn from the locomotive’s single-phase, head-end-power line (usually 1500 Vac, 1500 Vdc or 3000 Vdc), available at the locomotive, or on wagons with electric installation. Throughout the paper, the developed static converter system suitable for transforming single-phase 1500 Vac, into three-phase 400 Vac, 50 Hz is presented. Furthermore, a dedicated communication system is developed which enables users to perform supervision of transported goods (temperature and relative humidity) and track the reefer container onboard railway wagons.



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