For large cities, where mass transit is indispensable, Trolleybuses provide an excellent solution for energy saving, and for improvement of the environment as a result of reducing air pollution. Trolleybuses do not release the particles that arise from combustion engines; they also provide a more comfortable traveling experience, because they are quieter than conventional buses.
Now WEG has improved Trolleybus technology further, by introducing a new type of traction motor. Providing power up to 185kW, the three-phase motor is totally enclosed in a cast water-cooled housing; it is extremely light and compact, providing a saving – just in motor weight – of 400kgs for Trolleybus operators.
The traction motor is the result of WEG partnering with major Trolleybus manufacturers, such as Busscar, Tutto, Eletra and Ibrava, and providing considerable engineering resources to develop and optimise the hardware and software involved in each project for each manufacturer. The new motor is the central component in a power train developed by WEG, which also includes microprocessor- controlled vector frequency inverters with integrated PLCs.
The WEG traction motor and vector inverter (CFW09 rated at 600A) combination provides a robust power train, which is powerful enough to make a bus “spin its tyres” on starting out. However, for normal operations, the maximum system torque is limited to avoid unnecessary wear. The traction system also integrates a ‘generator group’ (alcohol or gas), which feeds a battery bank. This is responsible for supplying power to the traction system, and for the auxiliary services of the bus.
Although generally single units, Trolleybuses of the type described above can easily be expanded to bi-articulated, with two bellows. In these vehicles, it is possible to transport up to 300 people, with the environmental benefits of emitting 80% fewer pollutants than conventional systems, and of consuming 50% less fuel.
Registered as a part of the city’s historical heritage, the Santa Teresa Streetcar (Bonde de Santa Teresa) is a “treasure” of Rio de Janeiro. Intended not just for tourists, the Streetcar is one of the main means of transportation for the population of the Santa Teresa neighborhood, and for surrounding regions.
For WEG, there is a pride in participating in the renovation of the city’s streetcars, as it is part of Santa Teresa history. The new vehicles are equipped with two special traction Motors of 70kW each, and one traction inverter of 450A.
For those who have the opportunity to go to Rio de Janeiro, the opportunity to take a marvelous streetcar ride in Santa Teresa, and to enjoy the beautiful view from the top of the mountain in the city, should not be missed.