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Title: A systemic framework for monitoring energy performance of urban railways
Authors: Palacin, Roberto
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Global sustainability challenges are particularly acute in urban conurbations which house the majority of the world’s population and where most of the economic activity takes place. Mobility is at the core of this challenge as transport is one of the highest energy consuming and polluting sectors across the globe. Achieving a low environmental impact transport system fit for all is a clear objective. A modal shift to low energy but highly competitive transport modes is a key target. Urban railway systems have the environmental performance and mass transit capability to be the core provider of mobility in metropolitan areas bringing also other benefits e.g. connectivity, cohesion and social inclusivity. Nevertheless, in a very competitive context where all modes are improving their energy performance, it is crucial that urban rail systems enhance their energy conservation levels without jeopardising their service offer. There is a lack of consensus amongst stakeholders on how to assess energy performance of urban rail systems. This void has been extended to the academic literature, where the issue is largely missing. The overall purpose of this thesis is to contribute to energy conservation of urban rail systems by supporting the decisionmaking process leading to the deployment of interventions aimed at improving energy efficiency and optimising its usage. A three-phased methodological triangulation approach has been adopted to address three research questions derived from two research objectives. This research has investigated energy usage, interventions and interdependencies that are governed by the complexity of the socio-technical system that are urban railways. A holistic approach has been developed based on an adaptable systemic monitoring framework and associated methodology enabling i) a multilevel analysis of system energy performance using a set of twenty-two hierarchical indicators and four complementing parameters, ii) an appraisal of candidate energy optimisation interventions and iii) the monitoring of the results of implemented measures. To validate and illustrate its execution, the framework has been applied to five different urban rail systems to assess a total of eleven technical and operational interventions. This has resulted in observing up 3.4% or circa 4 GWh usage reduction at system level when considering the influence of the three technical interventions monitored and up to 4.8% or circa 6.6 GWh when the eight operational interventions are evaluated in conjunction. These outcomes have illustrated the universality of the framework and its adaptability to the particularities of each urban rail system.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering

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