Repowering is a thought-provoking concept: Renewing the driveline with modern ZF transmissions is an extremely attractive option for economic as well as environmental reasons. ZF's re-powering solutions aim at reducing fuel consumption and thus life cycle costs and at extending the service life of rail vehicles.
High fuel prices are presenting rail operators with constant commercial challenges. Fuel costs for Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) account for more than two thirds of the total vehicle life cycle costs (LCC). Ever greater importance is therefore attributed to low LCCs in combination with longer life cycles. An economical solution to these demands is repowering, i.e. replacing outdated inefficient technology with more modern and cost-efficient driveline components.
In this field, ZF offers a series of solutions where the gears used for reversing the direction of motion form an integral part of the variable-speed transmission or the axle drive. This includes repowering with the automatic reversing transmission, which is a further development of the tried and trusted automatic transmissions ZF-EcoLife and ZF-Ecomat, perfectly tailored to fulfill the requirements of rail transport. With these solutions, the operator can be sure that he is using a solution without third-party patent claims.
These automatic transmissions have been used worldwide in bus transport for many years already and have also proven themselves in many rail vehicles. With extremely efficient torque converters, close-stepped gear ratios always keep the engine in an economical speed range; the higher efficiency that can be found especially at low to medium vehicle speeds greatly reduces fuel consumption and fuel costs. Flexible gear-shift programs can also be adjusted to benefit the train acceleration profile. ZF offers rail operators a range of axle-drive variants with and without reverse transmissions, and thus complete driveline packages.
These combinations reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent in comparison to hydrodynamic transmissions.