What to Look for in a DC/DC Converter for Railway Applications
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Railway electrification systems rely on a steady DC supply to both power their DC motors and the control/energy circuits. These DC-traction systems are more energy-efficient than their coal, gas, or diesel-based counterparts while also reducing CO2 emissions. DC-to-DC converters play a crucial role in improving the energy efficiency and power quality of electrified railways. Electronic components used in these applications will be subjected to extremes in temperature, humidity, vibration, and mechanical shock. As such, they require a high degree of electrical and structural integrity to be able to withstand these conditions and reliably operate.
This article explores the requirements for DC-to-DC converters in railway systems, including a general description of DC railways, how DC-to-DC converters are used in these systems, and the standards that allow these devices to function regardless of operating conditions.