Modelling and simulation of pantograph-catenary dynamics

Abstract: This thesis considers theoretical and experimental investigations of the dynamic behaviour of pantograph-catenary systems for trains and its relation to simulation driven product development. The pantograph and catenary form an oscillating system that is coupled via the contact force between the pantograph head and the contact wire. Too large contact force variation can lead to loss of contact, arcing and wear as well as damage to the system. Thus, the dynamic behaviour plays a decisive role for high-speed trains from the power collecting point of view. It is therefore a need for enhanced possibilities to predict the dynamic behaviour of this type of system. To accomplish this, modelling, simulation and experiments have been used. In this work, different models for catenary systems and pantographs are developed, ranging from simple lumped mass models to full three-dimensional models. The dynamic behaviour is also studied using full-scale and laboratory-scale experiments. Modelling of different aspects are covered, such as for example the damping in the catenary system that is important for multiple pantograph operation. Non-linear phenomena in the dynamic behaviour of the current collector suspension and dynamic effects caused by parameter variations due to wear of pantographs are also investigated. A simulation tool is developed to increase the actual use of computational support in the product development process. Depending on the specific questions to be answered, available information, skill of engineers, available software etc. models of different detail are appropriate. To handle this problem, the structuring of an advanced simulation tool for simulation driven product development is proposed.

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