Hydraulics power the new tunnel through the Alps

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hydraulics power

Powerful hydraulics are playing an important part in the construction of the new 55km Brenner Base Tunnel. These will enable a faster rail connection between northern and southern Europe from 2020.

BIBUS HYDRAULIC Group, a Danfoss Sales Partner, has developed and installed the hydraulic system. This, for their customer, Rowa, a leader in tunneling systems and logistics. 

Specialized trains – on wheels

“We have supplied the hydraulic system for six self-propelled Rowa trains. Each one a specialized vehicle built specifically for tasks that include the transportation of tunnel components into the tunnel. As well as, evacuation of tunnel workers and fire extinguishing,” said Gabriel Richter, CEO at BIBUS HYDRAULIC in Switzerland. “It’s the first time tunneling trains have been built on wheels instead of tracks.”

Heavy-duty drive

Carrying a maximum load of 130 tons, the trains must be able to climb a 12% gradient inside the tunnel and brake efficiently. The top speed is 25km/15mph an hour.
Danfoss has developed the drive train using high-performing piston pumps and bent axis motors from the H1 family. To meet the need for all-wheel steering, a Danfoss solution is on every wheel. Hundreds of modular electrohydraulic PVG valves and cartridge valves ensure precise, load-sensing flow control in the drive, dampening and braking systems.

Customized braking

Due to the heavy-duty cargo on board, the 460kW diesel engine cannot provide 100% of the braking capacity alone. BIBUS has developed a customized braking valve block with Danfoss PVG 120 and PVG 32 valves to take on 30% of the braking load.

“Functional safety is a very important issue. Here we’ve supported Rowa with a risk analysis and accommodated identified risks in the hydraulic system design,” said Gabriel Richter.

Intelligent control

BIBUS’ team of electronic experts has programmed Danfoss PLUS+1® software to intelligently and proactively control the entire hydraulic system. 

“PLUS+1® equalizes the acceleration of the train’s loading platforms, as this varies according to the weight of each platform’s load. This ensures the individual platforms travel up and down gradients at the same speed independent of their weight,” Richter said.

With the support of Danfoss, BIBUS designed and delivered the hydraulic system in less than three months. The Rowa trains are now all in action – meeting every expectation for a top performance.

Mobile hydraulics

Mobile hydraulics

Our engineers are constantly working to help deliver precise and reliable mobile hydraulic control to advanced machines like yours. From propulsion and steering, to work function and power management, Danfoss is committed to helping you improve machine performance and decrease your time to market.