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Siemens just announced plans to harvest energy from speeding trains by installing America’s first regenerative braking energy storage system on the new TriMet Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Line. The Sitras Energy Storage unit is designed to capture kinetic energy from the train while it is slowing down. It then converts this energy into electricity to power the train when it accelerates.

Siemens, world's first regenerative energy storage unit, energy efficiency, public transportation, alternative energy, renewable energy, light rail, TriMet Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit LineImage via Shutterstock

Acceleration is particularly disruptive to power systems because they cause what Cleantechnica calls “power sags” – a huge spike in energy consumption that often drains power available to other trains connected to the same power source. Siemens’ Sitras Energy Storage unit restores balance to the grid while also improving overall energy efficiency.

“The regenerative energy storage unit is an important piece of the many sustainable elements being incorporated in this light rail project,” said Dan Blocher, executive director of TriMet Capital Projects. “With Siemens as a partner, we know this pilot project is positioned to bring a new and efficient technology to the U.S.”

Via Cleantechnica