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Point Heating with the EL-Point System
For trouble free train operation during winter conditions, point heating is recommended to keep the point ice-free and moving. We took the challenge to find the best and energy-efficient solution for each frost problem within the railway transportation area. With the EL-Point system, our engineers developed a new point-heating system which works highly energy-efficient (up to 30 %) in comparison to conventional point heating systems and offers therefore a considerable reduction of CO2 emissions.
Advantages of the "EL-Point" System
Reduced stock and easy handling:
Optimised heat transfer from heating cable to point rails:
Flexible heating cable adapts in the best possible way to the point rail, thus minimising gaps
Thermal insulating cover profile reduces heat loss to ambient and directs heat flow towards the point rail
Large, dark rail surface is thus turned into a radiator – the high heat radiation ratio clears the gap between stock rail and moving rail effectively from snow and ice
High efficiency due to high heat radiation ratio and partial thermal insulation of rail surface by cover profile
Heat transfer to point - radiator effect:
The thermally insulating cover profile reduces heat losses to ambient and directs the heat flow toward the rail. The big, dark rail surface turns into a radiator - the heat radiation frees the gap between stock rail and switch blade effectively from snow and ice. That means: High efficiency due to high heat radiation ratio and partial thermal insulation of rail surface by cover profile.
Technical Details EL-Point System
‚Cut-to-length‘ constant wattage heating cable (W x H approx. 15 x 7 mm, distance between contact points approx. 500 mm)
Versions from 50V up to 750V as standard (other voltages upon request)
Thermally insulating GRP cover profile (W x H approx. 40 x 11 mm, length approx. 2000 mm)
Stainless steel fitting clips
Up to 2 heating cables per cover profile
Power output from 120 W/m (one heating cable per cover) to approx. 300 W/m (two heating cables per cover)
All components UV-resistant and resistant against oil, grease, herbicides, salt and de-icing fluids
Optional: Flexo plugs pre-fitted to heating cable or intermediate cold lead
Very high efficiency compared to other point heating systems
Non conductive outer material
Thermal output of the EL-Point system:
Good thermal conductivity, due to the heat radiation in the gap between the stock rail and the moving rail (open position)
Due to radiation effect, the installation on the outside of the stock rail is possible – easy cutting and on-site termination!
There is no risk of short circuit of rails thanks to the fluoropolymeric heating cable surface and cover profiles, thereby easy installation on existing track circuits is guaranteed.
The heating cable comes pre-terminated with plugs and / or cold lead if required.
Energy Saving Point Heating System
Besides the practical advantages, „EL-Point“ also performs with higher reliability, longer service life and a significantly lower energy consumption. This is a result of the lexibility and the soft surface of “EL-Point”, leaving no space between rail and heating element. Stiff flat heating elements are inflexible, a number of small gaps occur because of the irregularities of the rail surface. The result is a comparatively poor heat transfer. Due to its flexibility, “EL-Point” can equalize most of the rail irregularities. The heat transfer into the rail is enhanced, resulting in higher track temperatures at lower power consumption. Test series under repeatable and realistic conditions demonstrated: up to 30% of energy can be saved by the use of “EL-Point”, compared against conventional flat heating elements.
Energy savings achieved by „EL-Point“ do obviously not only has a positive effect on operating costs, but also benefits the environment, too. Energy efficiency considerations in comparison to conventional flat heating elements resulted in astonishing findings, showing that changing from continuously operated flat heating elements to “EL-Point” systems with intelligent control would result in energy savings of 29,000.7 kWh (per point and year). Coming from an energy price of € 0.12 per kWh, this would mean a cost reduction of € 3,480.09. At a value of 596 g of CO2 per kWh, environmental pollution would be reduced by 17.3 tons of CO2 per point and year.
A heat-up trial at the eltherm laboratory under realistics preconditions shows the greatest temperature difference between the rail and the environment (after 250 minutes): flat heating element 32,4 K (at 330 W/m); „EL-Point“ 41,8 K (at 300 W/m).
This means: a 30% higher temperature difference can be reached with 10% less power!
The values which are the basis of this calculation have been determined at the eltherm laboratory under reproducible and realistic conditions and can be reviewed upon request - please use our contact form.
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