Union Pacific Railway - Radio Repeater Power

CASE STUDIES

Union Pacific Railway - Radio Repeater Power

Overview

For Union Pacific, a remote power solution needs to be reliable first and foremost as they support the critical systems we need to keep operations running smoothly and safely when the primary system fails.

R. Williams
Telecommunications Engineer
Union Pacific Railway

The Situation

Union Pacific Railway needed reliable "back-up power" for remote railroad crossings in Wyoming, USA.

Union Pacific Railway relies on AC "grid powered" systems to power the controls that speak to its railway crossings, switches and indicators. The system is based on a central computer connected by radio control links from repeater stations located across the country. Many of these locations are remote and do not have access to an AC grid or are positioned where the grid is unreliable.

The Challenge

The challenge was to provide the radio repeater locations with primary or reliable back-up power where AC power was either unavailable or unreliable.

Once connected to the system, it was essential for Union Pacific to maintain a reliable supply of power to these stations. Loss of power to any one station could affect train schedules, customer satisfaction and ultimately safety. Finding a power solution that was right for these remote locations was an issue that Union Pacific was anxious to resolve.

Gentherm Global Power Technologies (GPT)* was asked to develop a remote power solution that was both reliable and low maintenance.

GPT's* Solution

GPT's solution was to supply Union Pacific with propane-fueled Thermoelectric Generators (TEGs) with a custom electronic and ignition system. These actively monitored the AC power that entered the railroad crossing control system. If the AC power is found absent for more than 20 minutes continuously, the generator will turn itself on and provide power.

GPT's products have the advantage of 'no moving parts'. This makes them both durable and strong, resistant to the effects of extreme environmental conditions.

Timing

Six to eight weeks after challenge was identified.

Results

Reliable power for systems that control critical railroad crossings.

Due to the importance of having a reliable system for power Union Pacific regularly checks GPT's power solution remotely. The propane powered TEGS have never failed to provide the back-up power needed to power the repeater stations.
*Formerly Global Thermoelectric

Gentherm Global Power Technologies*(GPT)  Remote power products are designed for a minimum 20-year service life.


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*Formerly:
 Global Thermoelectric