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2018/2019 Electric Bus Project


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Probably just gonna add fuel to the fire here but:

My experience with the trolley buses on my vacation last week was more than pleasant. Calgary runs all conventional buses with diesel fuel. The trolleys, in comparison to the diesel buses, are very quiet. The acceleration on those buses are quick. And they seem to be way more environmentally friendly. The only issue I noted was just a potential need to overstock buses simply because the 4 and 14 had to use Novas with the closure of University Blvd. However the other potential issue was solved easily, as one night the 7's were unable to use W 4 Avenue...so they went on Broadway, which is the next available road anyways, instead. My question to those saying the wires create clearance issues: hiw is it Vancouver will be able to run double deckers if this is true, and also how do other cities, such as Calgary, have grade crossings when the trains use overhead wires?

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About every ninety days there is someone that grossly over dramatically says TransLink is trying to get rid of the trolley system. To make this past as per CPTDB traditions it should be made concurren

Let's have a fleet of half electric/trolley's. But as a smart bus to figure out when to put the trolley parts away (like detours or out of service to destinations or garage to name some). Yes i believ

Can we just stop with this pro-trolley/anti-trolley nonsense? This thread has become an echo chamber as of late.

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2 hours ago, Express691 said:

Deckers are as tall as your ordinary semi truck so I don't see that as an issue. What might be an issue is the turn radius on DDs.

It’s 42’ and has a tag axle. It’ll have the same turning radius as a motor coach. Even then, if you’ve got a lifting tag; it’ll be about the same as a standard 40’. If you’ve got a turning tag then it’ll be even tighter like 35’. 

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I think the main issue with having double deckers in the more downtown areas of Vancouver, as has been pointed out here before, is the passenger flow, as most people are getting on and off within a few stops making it hard for people to get up and down the stairs with so much happening. With the deckers out on more suburban routes, as the plan currently is, people are travelling further and mostly get on or off in specific places, making the flow much better.

Back on the topic of electric buses, I think they're the opposite in that they are better suited for downtown and urban Vancouver, with no emissions when stuck in traffic, and likely close enough to charging stations if needed, instead of being stuck a few small towns away.

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  • 6 months later...
1 hour ago, 8010 said:

Have any of the XE40s or LFSes arrived yet? If I remember correctly the XE40s were scheduled to arrive around December 2018 and the LFSes are scheduled to arrive sometime between now and the end of February.

Add around 3-4 months to the scheduled time to get Reality.

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@Community ShuttleThat's just one of those "Vision Thing" videos that big organisations like to issue to look progressive.😀

I was wondering the same as @8010 about the fleet arrivals. Maybe just as good an indicator of the likely timescale is when the charging terminals are installed at the bus loops for the 100. Has anybody seen any installation work done at Marpole loop yet, for example? It's not just a question of erecting a cabin near a bus stop. Will it have its own grid connection and transformer or will it just tap in to the existing substation supplying power to  the trolleybus system? 

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4 hours ago, martin607 said:

@Community ShuttleThat's just one of those "Vision Thing" videos that big organisations like to issue to look progressive.😀

I was wondering the same as @8010 about the fleet arrivals. Maybe just as good an indicator of the likely timescale is when the charging terminals are installed at the bus loops for the 100. Has anybody seen any installation work done at Marpole loop yet, for example? It's not just a question of erecting a cabin near a bus stop. Will it have its own grid connection and transformer or will it just tap in to the existing substation supplying power to  the trolleybus system? 

My assumption is that sometime between April and July is when we'll see the charging terminals installed since 22nd Street Station's Bays 5-8 are expected to be under construction at around that time.

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It'd be very cool if they could integrate charging into the existing trolleybus infrastructure... but don't the trolleybuses run at a lower voltage? From what I can gather from Siemens and ABB, the voltage required to quickly charge a bus can go up to 1000 volts DC; on the other hand, the trolleybus network is fed 600 volts DC? Can the existing wires, rectifiers, relays, etc. handle such a bump?

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10 minutes ago, Millennium2002 said:

It'd be very cool if they could integrate charging into the existing trolleybus infrastructure... but don't the trolleybuses run at a lower voltage? From what I can gather from Siemens and ABB, the voltage required to quickly charge a bus can go up to 1000 volts DC; on the other hand, the trolleybus network is fed 600 volts DC? Can the existing wires, rectifiers, relays, etc. handle such a bump?

Some trolleys (ex. Seattle's XT40/XT60's) have in-line charging. The batteries charge while connected to the wires, and run on batteries when going off route or on a route without wires. The voltage remains the same.

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8 minutes ago, Jaymaud0804 said:

Trolleys in Seattle, for example, have in-line charging. The batteries charge while connected to the wires, and run on batteries when going off route or on a route without wires

I'm aware of that; in fact, I know Vancouver's trolleybuses do the same, even though the batteries are much older and don't last as long. But charging an electric battery bus is somewhat different in the sense that:

  • It's for short periods, not something that's almost always plugged in 
  • The voltages required can be a third higher
  • Either the bus can connect to the charger or the charger can connect to the bus. The former method is similar to a trolleybus; the latter less so.

Hypothetically, if the bus charger were to have its own battery, it could behave more like a stationary trolleybus and leech off of the existing DC power grid without much trouble. In fact, the INIT stop displays along Main Street already do this, although at a minuscule scale. Then when a battery bus rolls in to charge, it'd just unload that buffered energy...

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On 7/11/2018 at 4:21 PM, Blake M said:

 How do other cities, such as Calgary, have grade crossings when the trains use overhead wires?

One of 2 grade-level LRT/trolley crossings in Edmonton:

https://youtu.be/rQqQOZpQ078

 

25 minutes ago, Millennium2002 said:

I'm aware of that; in fact, I know Vancouver's trolleybuses do the same, even though the batteries are much older and don't last as long. But charging an electric battery bus is somewhat different in the sense that:

  • It's for short periods, not something that's almost always plugged in 
  • The voltages required can be a third higher
  • Either the bus can connect to the charger or the charger can connect to the bus. The former method is similar to a trolleybus; the latter less so.

Hypothetically, if the bus charger were to have its own battery, it could behave more like a stationary trolleybus and leech off of the existing DC power grid without much trouble. In fact, the INIT stop displays along Main Street already do this, although at a minuscule scale. Then when a battery bus rolls in to charge, it'd just unload that buffered energy...

That's the thing though: those buses are trolley/battery "hybrids" and not battery buses. Personally, I think TransLink should buy these instead of battery-only buses

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10 hours ago, Millennium2002 said:

It'd be very cool if they could integrate charging into the existing trolleybus infrastructure... but don't the trolleybuses run at a lower voltage? From what I can gather from Siemens and ABB, the voltage required to quickly charge a bus can go up to 1000 volts DC; on the other hand, the trolleybus network is fed 600 volts DC? Can the existing wires, rectifiers, relays, etc. handle such a bump?

The voltage doesn't matter too much, it's the total power capacity that matters (i.e. Voltage times Current = Power).

At the moment the most powerful opportunity chargers are rated at 450 kW at up to 800 V. Here is a specification sheet for one manufacturer's 450 kW charger. I chose this one because it gives more technical detail than I could easily find for either ABB or Siemens. 

https://www.heliox.nl/products/ultra-fast-dc-450-opportunity-charger

From the spec sheet you'll see that the voltage can lie anywhere in the range of 480 V to 800 V.  So it relates very well to the nominal voltage of the trolleybus overhead supply, which is is 600V, i.e.  in the middle of the range. Also don't forget with modern power electronics,  the voltage can be stepped up or down as desired. 

However, one charging station with power capacity of 450kW and running at 600V would be drawing a current of nearly 800 Amps. By itself that would be alright but it would taking a very sizable proportion of the substation's total capacity and the neighbouring trolleybuses might slow to a crawl. 

So I don't think this would be a long-term solution.

Kiepe Electric has done a very interesting study that shows that the installed power capacity required for battery buses using opportunity charging is twice as great as that for trolleybuses and overnight charging of BEBs requires four times the installed capacity of an equivalent trolleybus fleet. Put simply, trolleybuses get their power smoothly and continuously over the whole service day while battery buses draw their power over shorter periods - either 5 to 10 minute charging breaks, or overnight, where there is a peak load period of about 3 hours.

13 hours ago, Millennium2002 said:

I'm aware of that; in fact, I know Vancouver's trolleybuses do the same, even though the batteries are much older and don't last as long. But charging an electric battery bus is somewhat different in the sense that:

  • It's for short periods, not something that's almost always plugged in 
  • The voltages required can be a third higher
  • Either the bus can connect to the charger or the charger can connect to the bus. The former method is similar to a trolleybus; the latter less so.

Hypothetically, if the bus charger were to have its own battery, it could behave more like a stationary trolleybus and leech off of the existing DC power grid without much trouble. In fact, the INIT stop displays along Main Street already do this, although at a minuscule scale. Then when a battery bus rolls in to charge, it'd just unload that buffered energy...

Yes. There are systems that do this. The TOSA system in Geneva uses flash charging with 600 kW at each stop. Given what I said above about high currents, I understand the charging stations have super capacitors that draw energy smoothly between bus arrivals and store it ready to provide a quick flash charge when the next bus arrives. This avoids horrible 1000 Amp peaks on the supply system. Of course the extra equipment costs money.

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I'm surprised no one mentioned this. The renders for the bus loop redesign at 22nd Street Station seems to indicate that the bus charger will be located at the back of the loop. Is that where they will just lay over at? Or is that suggesting a full bus stop relocation for the duration of the trial (if not longer)?

Given that they are starting construction now, it'll probably take a few more months until they enter service...

I'm still curious as to what Marpole Loop will look like once they put the charger in... while it seems dead quiet now compared to before the Canada Line was built, I feel like they could do a lot more to improve its overall functionality and appearance.

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4 hours ago, Millennium2002 said:

I'm surprised no one mentioned this. The renders for the bus loop redesign at 22nd Street Station seems to indicate that the bus charger will be located at the back of the loop. Is that where they will just lay over at? Or is that suggesting a full bus stop relocation for the duration of the trial (if not longer)?

Given that they are starting construction now, it'll probably take a few more months until they enter service...

I'm still curious as to what Marpole Loop will look like once they put the charger in... while it seems dead quiet now compared to before the Canada Line was built, I feel like they could do a lot more to improve its overall functionality and appearance.

There was a construction crew in Marpole Loop this morning near the 100's current stop.

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TransLink has decide to get two more XE40 buses from New Flyer:

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/translink-orders-2-xcelsior-charge-buses-to-further-interoperable-charging-supported-by-cutric-693891641.html

TransLink has also increase electric bus order for Nova LFS with two more buses on order:

http://novabus.com/two-nova-bus-electric-buses-vancouver-part-cutric-project/

 Metro Vancouver has also approved purchase of two more electric buses: 

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/metro-vancouver-board-approves-translink-gas-tax-request

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12 hours ago, Millennium2002 said:

I'm still curious as to what Marpole Loop will look like once they put the charger in... while it seems dead quiet now compared to before the Canada Line was built, I feel like they could do a lot more to improve its overall functionality and appearance.

 

Go there and you'll find signs indicating the closure of Bay 2 (the #10 bay). Right now all #10 passengers have to use the Hudson St near-side stop or the Oak St near-side stop. I'd be kind of surprised if they don't use bay 5 (the former #100 bay), bay 1 seems like a palatable location though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

On ‎1‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 2:34 AM, Millennium2002 said:

It'd be very cool if they could integrate charging into the existing trolleybus infrastructure... but don't the trolleybuses run at a lower voltage? From what I can gather from Siemens and ABB, the voltage required to quickly charge a bus can go up to 1000 volts DC; on the other hand, the trolleybus network is fed 600 volts DC? Can the existing wires, rectifiers, relays, etc. handle such a bump?

I have been doing some research into the technology. Typically a charging station receives a input at 400V AC, which seems to be a standard industrial supply, used in factories, workshops etc. The supply for the charging stations would come off the local grid and go through a step-down transformer to reduce the voltage to the aforementioned 400V AC. Obviously you could opt for 800V AC, which somebody mentioned, if you wanted to. The actual charging station contains a rectifier to covert AC to DC, switchgear, communications to the bus and of course a pantograph to provide a physical connection. The spec sheets I saw didn't mention Galvanic Isolation, but I assume there will also be an isolation transformer in the unit to ensure that the bus is kept electrically separate from the grid. Tech point -isolation transformers transfer power by induction not conduction.

Given that information, I suspect it is simpler for Translink to use this standard equipment and topology than to try and link the charging stations in to the trolleybus electrical supply network. For example, as the trolleybus supply network is already 600V DC, the rectifiers in the standard charging stations would be redundant. 

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https://www.translink.ca/-/media/Documents/about_translink/governance_and_board/board_minutes_and_reports/2019/march/2019_22_03_Open_Board_Meeting_Report.pdf

This Friday's board meeting report:
Page 12

Quote

Four battery-electric buses have been purchased and Metro Vancouver recently approved the purchase of six more. The pilot is on schedule to start in late Q2 2019.

CUTRIC Battery-electric Bus Pilot • Four battery-electric buses have been purchased and Metro Vancouver recently approved the purchase of six more. The pilot is on schedule to start in late Q2 2019. • Construction and installation of overhead charging stations at both 22nd Street Station and Marpole Loop has begun and is scheduled for completion in May. Commissioning and testing are scheduled for completion by the end of June.

This project was initially scheduled for a winter 2018/2019 completion date.

Also: We're now up to a total of 10 buses.

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6 hours ago, Express691 said:

https://www.translink.ca/-/media/Documents/about_translink/governance_and_board/board_minutes_and_reports/2019/march/2019_22_03_Open_Board_Meeting_Report.pdf

This Friday's board meeting report:
Page 12

This project was initially scheduled for a winter 2018/2019 completion date.

Also: We're now up to a total of 10 buses.

What is the current peak bus requirement for route 100? I assume that the increase to 10 battery buses will mean a substantial part of the service will be provided by the BEBs. It will be interesting to see how the BEBs and diesels interact on the same route.

Is a cost given for the additional buses?

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