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UAE’s metro finds creative ways to save energy

Published by Jason Koffler on 29 August 2010

Dubai Metro cuts energy consumption by 25%

A study by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) showed that the Metro project has helped in cutting energy consumption by 25 percent, which translates in saving approximately $ 5 million annually in electricity costs.

At a a time of raising energy costs and growing demand, energy conservation and management is a growing priority for all users of energy not just in typical IT or telecommunicaton environment.

One of Dubai Metro’s innovative ways to re-use energy and cut-down energy consumption is through regenerative power.

Each time the train brakes, power is generated and fed back through an electronic inverter and this regenerated power is utilized by other trains in a state of acceleration, and each train contains two inverters.

Also, the use of a power network with a higher voltage of 33 kilovolts (kV) instead of 11 (kV), the first to be used in Dubai, cuts power losses during transmission through the cable almost by 90 percent compared to the normal 11 (kV) networks.

In addition, the 33kV grid can supply energy 40 kilometers away contrary to 11kV facilities which can only supply power over a few kilometers, which furthers savings by way of distribution costs.

The integrated energy control system installed in each station has also resulted in reducing power consumption between 10 and 20 percent compared to conventional systems.

Also, the architectural design of metro stations has allowed more natural light into the stations and as a result reduces the use of electricity. And the provision of air-conditioning at stations and depots using district cooling technology is yet another factor contributing to energy savings and protection of the environment. District cooling is a subject which Critical Power Supplies will cover in early September.

It is estimated the regenerative braking power can save up to 25 to 30 per cent of what the rail system would normally need without this system.

Reduced carbon dioxide emissions from power generation plants driving the Metro added more value to the costs savings.

Dubai Metro has produced a substantial saving and helped to demonstrate that energy management can lead to immediate savings without reducing the quality of the users experience.