Network Rail collaborates with Energy Innovation Centre to optimise its UK rail network

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ENERGY Innovation Centre has announced a new collaboration with Network Rail which will see it support the rail company in continuing to deliver reliable and sustainable power to its infrastructure.

Drawing on its international innovation community, and in-house technical experience of working with the UK’s energy networks, the Centre will support Network Rail in finding and exploring a range of solutions that will help improve the reliability of its electrical network.

Mark Gaddes, R&D Project Manager at Network Rail, said: “We’re continually looking for ways to transform and innovate within our rail network – with the aim of staying ahead of future demands.

“Energy Innovation Centre has a wealth of experience and vital connections with innovators and utilities from the energy sector whose experience will be critical in helping us to achieve our goals.

“We look forward to working with the Energy Innovation Centre and investigating other collaborations with energy and water companies.”

In particular, the rail company hopes to discover innovative solutions for monitoring the condition of Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems, which are essential to ensuring the continued availability of critical power supplies, such as signalling power, in the event of a Distribution Network Operator power supply outage.

To deliver the project, the Centre will draw on the knowledge and insight of its global innovation community along with its experience of working with the UK’s biggest energy networks.

Among its innovator community are a number of specialist electrical and railway engineers who will be called upon for key recommendations.

Matthieu Michel, Operations Director at the Energy Innovation Centre, commented on the collaboration: “We will be playing a vital role in connecting Network Rail with a global community of innovators who will support it in enhancing its electrical network performance for the future.

“Having run similar collaborations with some of the UK’s biggest energy networks and water companies, we are really excited to have the opportunity to share our knowledge with another vital UK industry.

“Facilitating the discovery and development of innovative ideas is what we do best, and this high impact project will allow us to demonstrate this.”

This initial collaboration between Network Rail and the Energy Innovation Centre, which started in December, will run until June 2020.