Power and noise saving subway train on homegrown motor starts service

2019.05.16 14:16:32 | 2019.05.16 14:33:06

Hyundai Rotem`s newly developed motor and its propulsion control unit [Photo provided by the company]이미지 확대

Hyundai Rotem`s newly developed motor and its propulsion control unit [Photo provided by the company]

Indigenously-developed permanent magnet synchronous motor has been employed in a Seoul subway, helping to reduce noise as well as save energy and money for the Seoul government.

Hyundai Rotem, locomotive and rolling stock unit of Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group, said Thursday that a permanent magnet synchronous motor-powered subway train has begun operation on the Seoul Metro’s Line 6. The company together with public transit operator Seoul Metro had developed the country’s indigenous permanent magnet synchronous motor over the past three years.

Permanent magnet synchronous motor runs quieter and consumes less energy than the existing electromagnetic induction motor widely used in subway trains. According to Hyundai Rotem, the interior noise level of a subway train running on a permanent magnet synchronous motor is 10 decibel (dB) lower at low-speed travel and 3 dB lower at high speed when compared with conventional subway trains.

It also is more energy efficient. It uses 26 percent less energy, which could help save energy bill by 35.8 billion won ($30 million) compared with the electromagnetic induction motor, as well as maintenance and repair costs by 3.8 billion won over 30 years if all Line 6 subway trains run with the new motor, claimed the company.

Until now, Seoul Metro has depended entirely on imported permanent magnet synchronous motors to run subway trains. Considering Seoul Metro’s current replacement demand for old trains, the motor developed by local technology is expected to save up to 100 billion won in replacing imports from Japan.

Hyundai Rotem in March applied for a patent for the new motor technology, and plans to develop permanent magnet synchronous motors for fuel cell trams, high-speed trains and locomotives.

By Lee Jae-cheol and Cho Jeehyun

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