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Features 09-04-2021

2 min read

Enabling better reliability and performance for railways in the Czech Republic and Latvia

Hitachi Energy, Semiconductors, was awarded a contract to deliver IGBT modules for two new electric train projects in the Czech Republic and Latvia by Škoda Electric.
better reliability and performance for railways

Škoda Electric, part of the Škoda Transportation Group and a leading European manufacturer of equipment for locomotives, suburban train units, trolleybuses, electric buses, trams and metros, has chosen several components from Hitachi Energy to improve the performance of electrical systems in its vehicles. These products include power semiconductors, chokes, overvoltage arresters, special transformers and more.

Hitachi Energy’s latest generation of HiPak IGBT modules, rated at 6500 V/1000 A, will be at the heart of the traction converters driving the new RegioPanter trains for Czech Republic and Latvia from Škoda Transportation and Škoda Vagonka. Already known for their high performance in traction, industrial or renewable energy applications, Hitachi Energy has further improved the enhanced planar design of these IGBT modules, resulting in exceptionally low switching losses and an increase in current density by up to 30 percent. This enables the modules to achieve a rating of 1000 A at 6500 V and 1500 A at 4500 V. Like their predecessors, the 6500 V and 4500 V SPT++ (soft punch through) designs offer unrivaled robustness with minimum design risk. Evidence of their capability is shown by the full 150 °C operating temperature range and large safe operating area (SOA).

RegioPanter, Czech Republic
Up to 110 modern, single-deck electric RegioPanter units will run on regional routes for Czech Railways. Škoda will deliver these trains over the next four years, and they will be put into passenger service in the Olomouc, Moravian-Silesian, and South Bohemian regions in 2023 and 2024. These trains will significantly improve the quality of domestic rail travel.

RegioPanter, Latvia
In Latvia, 32 modern, single-deck electric RegioPanter trains will be supplied for interregional and long-distance transport for the passenger rail operator Pasažieru vilciens. The operator plans to boost the passenger numbers from the current 18 million to 25 million passengers. All RegioPanter trains will be dual system, capable runoff running on electrified routes powered by either 3kV DC or 25kV AC. Currently, only 14 % of the Latvian railway network is electrified with direct current, but in the next few years, new sections will be powered with electricity while the existing electrified lines will be converted to 25 kV AC.

The biggest trend in transportation is sustainability. Hitachi Energy plays a leading role in the decarbonization of rail and public transport. With automation, digitalization, and electrification solutions, we help develop sustainable mobility for passengers and freight around the world.