Bombardier Transportation and the Vienna Transport Authority (VTA) have equipped 120 older trams with new electronics to further improve their environmental performance. With an investment of 10 million euro, Bombardier and VTA installed "chopper control," replacing the old, high maintenance onboard technology. The new control enables the operator to recoup between 25 and 30 percent braking energy, similar to newer low-floor trams. The braking energy is then fed back into the network to power the tram operation.
Günter Steinbauer, managing director of the Vienna Transport Authority said: "Through this modernisation project, we have made 120 trams even greener. The entire tram fleet saves about 9,000 MWh in energy and about 4,900 tons of CO2 per year. This corresponds to the energy consumption of about 2,200 homes. Also, by modernising these vehicles, we have
extended their lifespan by at least 10 more years."
Christian Diewald, director sales Austria, Bombardier Transportation, said: "We have completed the modernisation on time and to the full satisfaction of our customer. Passengers in Vienna are now able to enjoy the enhanced riding features of our vehicles on the entire Vienna Transport Authority tram network."
The trams' old technology controlled their speed by introducing electric resistance into the motor circuit on a gradual basis. This process transformed electric energy into heat, which is not in line with sustainable energy use. By integrating the chopper control, Bombardier and VTA alleviated the creation of excess heat, thereby increasing the trams' energy efficiency.