Vectron DE – A trendsetter when it comes to emissions

As the technology leader, Siemens offers a diesel locomotive that already meets the EU97/IIIB emission limits today. Consequently, a standard-compliant and extremely environmentally friendly locomotive will be available to the market when this standard takes effect on January 1, 2012. The diesel engine follows the principle that avoiding emissions is more intelligent than first producing emissions and then destroying them. In accordance with its vision statement, Siemens has again proven itself to be a pioneer in “green mobility” and continues to fulfill its self-imposed promise to reduce environmental impact.

Technical solution to meet emission limits

To the greatest extent possible, emission limits should be fulfilled by means of mechanisms within the engine, because the subsequent treatment of exhaust gases, using urea, for example, requires additional operating supplies and the associated infrastructure. Such additional costs are more justifiable in the case of locomotives employed on regional routes, compared to locomotives designed for flexible use on nationwide or cross-border routes. The Vectron DE’s diesel engine uses exhaust gas recirculation and a particle filter to comply with the sharply reduced limits for particle emissions. As a result, no additional operating supplies are needed.

Environmentally sustainable – even regarding noise emissions

Like all diesel locomotives from Siemens, the Vectron DE more than fulfills the TSI Noise limits. The exterior noise generated at start-up and idling is much less than the TSI limit value and is comparable with the outstanding values of the Eurorunner ER20. The use of an electric brake as the primary service brake reduces brake noise considerably. Even when the compressed-air brake needs to be used, the disc brakes are designed to generate the lowest possible noise emissions.

Sparing use of energy – good for the environment

Thanks to the proven diesel-electric drive system with three-phase AC technology, the Vectron DE offers optimal efficiency values that are 5–10 % better than diesel-hydraulic efficiency values in all service conditions and power levels. The braking energy generated by the dynamic brake system is systematically used to supply the auxiliary systems and to supply the on-board electric systems of passenger trains (Head-end-power). Depending on the boundary conditions, energy savings of up to 10 % can be achieved. In the final analysis, the Vectron DE offers a considerably improved environmental performance, combined with optimized operating costs.

Environmentally friendly starting – fewer used batteries

Years ago, Siemens was the first company to use ultracapacitors ("ultracaps") to start the diesel engine, instead of heavy, environmentally harmful starter batteries. In that regard, our Eurorunner ER20 has been and still is the trendsetter. This proven and very environmentally friendly starter system is also used in the Vectron DE. Besides avoiding battery waste, the use of these maintenance-free ultracapacitors reduces the preventative LCC costs of the energy supply needed to start the diesel engine by 85 percent.

APU start-stop system reduces emissions further

The typical diesel engine runs idle for more than 50 percent of its service time, mostly while the locomotive is stopped. That generates unnecessary noise and exhaust gas emissions, not to mention operating costs. But those emissions and costs are lessened substantially by the APU start-stop system. The main diesel engine is shut off when the locomotive is standing still, and the train’s power supply is provided by a smaller-output diesel engine known as the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). This unit operates at a much more efficient operating point than a large diesel engine running in idle. This allows up to 30 tons of CO2 to be saved per locomotive per year. Unlike many other solutions in the market, the APU generator set is big enough to operate the brake compressor as well, so the locomotive remains fully operational, the occupied driver’s cab is air-conditioned and braking readiness is maintained. Also, it is not necessary to have the compressed air containers replenished by the main diesel engine before resuming travel. That means that the locomotive driver can release the brake and resume travel as soon as the train is cleared.