The UK is responsible for around 1.7 billion train journeys each year and over 400,000 tons of freight that are transported over the UK network of trains. Delays and disruptions within the rail network can have a significant impact on shipping and activities within the country and many people rely on rail transport as their main means of transportation.
Making sure that a railway can stay structurally sound and running smoothly can be extremely important for any transportation provider. Having a capacity to detect damage within the track in real-time and to repair defects before they become a major problem remains extremely important.
Ze Power is a project in railway monitoring that is drawing zero power from the grid line in order to sustain operations and harvest energy. This new form of energy takes vibrations from the tracks and create an ongoing monitoring system using those vibrations.
An ongoing monitoring system the draws zero power is extremely efficient and could lead to a number of improvements within the transportation industry. Under the current system, workers are sent out to inspect railway tracks and predict disruptions and schedules. Special trains are equipped with monitoring technology but problems are only detected when these trains pass over that section of track. As the UK has a massive array of railway tracks for monitoring, problems are often missed.