Adapting digital twin technology in electric railway power systems
The paper starts by acknowledging that increasingly complex technical networks require increasingly specialised components, each with their own specific application software. Digital twins offer the simulation technology to combine and exchange data across the entire system.
The paper then references various digital twin models proposed by various authors for factories, power systems, transformers, electric vehicles, solar panels and so on, including the concept of an asset or system’s Remaining Useful Life or “RUL.”
In this paper the authors seek to not only make the case for the digital twin as a necessity of an electric power railway (ERPS)but also how it can monitor, increase efficiency and reduce the degradation of the system.
Why it’s relevant to Nextspace
This article is interesting for Nextspace Partners for several reasons:
- It captures the trend of technical complexity with increasingly specialised componentry, absolute data interoperability being required for a digital twin to recreate the system as a whole.
- It proposes various use cases for the digital twin across the system lifecycle – design, manufacturing and service. We would add another stage in here which is system change (through the addition of or replacement by new technologies, as well as decommissioning. Once again, the range of requirements across the lifecycle proves the need for data interoperability and futureproofing.
- It also captures the requirement for minute precision and the tuning of the digital twin to its physical counterpart. Practical calibration issues such as harmonics, vibration, non-linear behaviour, frequency immobilization, interference, thermal properties. Real-time delay gap between the physical asset and the digital twin. The more complex and genuine replication of the real built system possibly invalidating some design assumptions made working with a pre-build virtual simulation.
Another area of interest is a comparison the authors make between SCADA and system simulation technologies and digital twins. In summary the authors’ see digital twins as the next generation solution due to its—
- Imitation of the real model
- Ability to amalgamate simulation and real state dynamic data
- Ability to update itself and apply algorithm’s directly, automate and utilise non-linear procedures
Finally the article goes into detail in terms of specific architectures of electric railway power systems that will be of interest to specialists in that field.
The authors conclude that “the digital twin concept in ERPS … can be a promising technology to overcome limitations and complexities.”