A new hi-tech hydraulic pump being trialled by ScotRail could reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions by four thousand tonnes of CO₂ per year.
Most modern diesel trains rely on a hydraulic unit to power each of the carriage’s cooling fans and generate electricity which together use up around ten to 15 per cent of the engine’s fuel. This new digital hydraulic pump uses computer-controlled valves to switch the pump’s cylinders off when they are not needed, meaning the pump is more controllable and efficient giving significant fuel savings wherever it is used.
The technology by ScotRail and Artemis Intelligent Power is being tested on a standard commuter train and estimated to save over 9,000 litres of diesel per carriage per year. If adopted across the ScotRail fleet of class 170 Turbostars this would equate to more than 1.5 million litres of fuel saved each year.
Part-funded by RSSB, the technology can be used in diesel trains across the UK and internationally and wherever hydraulic systems are found – for example in excavators, buses, trucks and even renewable energy.
The patented technology has already been used by Mitsubishi in their 7MW Sea Angel wind turbine - the world’s largest floating offshore wind turbine.