[DE] HELMS: Toshiba rebuilding two DB V90 locomotives

DB Cargo, DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung, DB Systemtechnik, Toshiba and Henschel have joined forces in project HELMS, short for Hybrid ELectro-Mechanical Shunter. Together the companies are developing a new hybrid shunting locomotive based on DB Cargo’s V90 locomotive design. Two prototypes will be built.

In short, project HELMS involves the replacement of the hydraulic transmission of the existing V90 shunting locomotive by a system comprised of a power converter cubicle, battery cubicle, generator, traction motor and planetary gear. The main goal of the project is to improve life cycle costs and reduce fuel consumption.

‘exploded view’ of a HELMS V90 heavy duty shunting locomotive, on display during Innotrans 2016. Photo: Henk Zwoferink

When ready, the HELMS-V90 locomotive will have the following characteristics:

  • Hybrid type: Series parallel Hybrid
  • Maximum output (at wheel rim): 750 kW
  • Maximum operation speed: 80 km/h
  • Diesel engine power output: 1.000 kW
  • Generator (x1): Asynchronous type
  • Traction motor (x2): Asynchronous type
  • Traction converter (x1): IGBT-type
  • Battery: SCiB (for traction) 92.25 kWh

About SCiB
SCiB is a name for Toshiba’s battery technology. SCiB batteries have around 15.000 charge-discharge cycles, are usable with high current and ensure stable operation below 0 degrees Celsius. Toshiba has completed a similar locomotive project in Japan, when developing the HD300 series heavy duty shunter for JP Freight.

Who will do what?

  • DB Cargo: provides two locomotives
  • DB Systemtechnik: Integration Engineering and EMS
  • DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung: Assembly
  • Henschel: Planetary gear design and manufacture
  • Toshiba: Power converter, traction battery, E-machines, hybrid system control

Update 13.02.2017: Henschel files for bankruptcy
Difficult times for Henschel from Kassel, the company that is to built the planetary gear system for the rebuilt V90s. The company has filed for bankruptcy on 09.02.2017, despite many new orders. In the past two years, too many orders were postponed, resulting in turnovers that dropped by 30%. The company hopes to continue its business in a different form. Source: hna.de