A supercapacitor-based method to mitigate overvoltage and recycle the energy of pantograph arcing in the high speed railway

Cuidong Xu, Zhu Chen, Ka Wai Eric Cheng, Xiaolin Wang, Ho Fai Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The pantograph arcing phenomenon may shorten the service life of a pantograph and even destroy onboard devices and instruments, due to the irregular motions of the train and the intermittent line–pantograph disconnection. This paper points out that abrupt inductive energy from the magnetizing inductance of the traction transformer can lead to an electromagnetic transient process with unexpected overvoltage across it. Further, a supercapacitor-based power electronic system is proposed, which can not only redirect the inductive energy to the supercapacitor pack through bidirectional converters but also mitigate the overvoltage across the main electrical equipment when pantograph arcing occurs. Simulation results show the overvoltage could be reduced and the energy stored in the supercapacitor which could also be used to provide energy for sensors or other devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1214
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2019


  • High speed railway
  • Overvoltage
  • Pantograph arcing
  • Supercapacitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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