In areas with frequent and long frost periods, any surface exposed to open air is likely to be covered by snow and / or ice. Moreover, ice covered rails are compromising the reliability of railroad traffic.Manually recovering frozen or snow covered points can present a severe danger to the track maintenance personnel involved. The Solution: a reliable rail heating system.
Rail heating is used for:
- Third rail / power rail heating
- Running rail heating
When using electrical trace heating on rails, it is recommended that:
- The number of tracings on the rail is kept to a minimum by choosing a cable of the highest possible output, placing it at the most efficient position on the rail and ensuring a maximum heat transfer to the rail
- The number of total supply points is kept to a minimum by installing maximum possible circuit length of cable
- The number of total cable terminations and splices is kept to a minimum, again by installing maximum possible circuit length of the cable
All of those considerations are directly linked to providing a cost effective installation, maintenance and to a reliable operation of the heating cable.
With regard to cost effective running of the heating system, suitable controls are required.
Local track conditions may however give rise to the need for higher loads, depending mainly on the predicted snowfall rate for the specific area and the expected minimum ambient temperature expected.
The optimum load required depends on the expected weather conditions and the track availability required.
Summary of benefits
- Low number of power supply points required – heating cable circuit lengths up to 1,000 m.
- Evenly distributed heat along the entire rail – voltage drop in El-Rail cable is 0 %.
- No risk of cold zones on the rail – no low power or dead cable sections.
- Excellent thermal efficiency
- No special precautions for the handling of inrush currents necessary.
- Fluoropolymer electric insulation provides superior temperature withstand properties along with an unequalled flexibility, thus providing extra electrical
safety in case of voltage peaks (El-Rail cable passes 2 kV factory spark test).
- All materials selected for their mechanical properties suitable for heavy duty use and are resistant against oil, glycol, herbicides and UV radiation. The Fluoropolymer insulation layer provides additional safety against extremely aggressive media like acids and cleaning solutions etc.
- Quick and easy installation due to unique fitting clips
- Low maintenance costs
- Extremely low lifecycle costs – the eltherm EL-Rail System is highly engery efficient because of unique power stepping technology.
Rail Heating – Basic Design Consideration
EL-Rail is a flat cable, combining six Fluoropolymer insulated series heating conductors in a silicone over-jacket. Superior properties of the heating system, low installation and operation costs with professional support from eltherm make the EL-Rail the first choice in rail heating applications.
Our proposal utilizes a single series cable per rail. This cable has an unique flat shape to ensure maximum heat transfer to the rail. This effect is achieved by a rigid, thermally insulated cover profile, which holds the cable firmly against the rail by means of spring steel mounting clips with defined force.