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            january 21, 2020

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Siemens to design and build new static frequency converter for Amtrak


The American Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) has contracted with Siemens to build a new Sitras SFC plus static frequency converter for upgrading its Metuchen facility in Edison, New Jersey. The order includes the delivery, installation and commissioning of two 30-megawatt converter units as well as the integration of the multilevel traction converter into the existing Amtrak 25-Hertz traction power supply network to enable parallel operation with the existing converters. The order has a mid-double-digit million-US dollar value.
Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Metuchen static frequency converter is due to be completed in 2017. This converter upgrading project is part of the New Jersey High Speed Rail Improvement Program (HSRIP) being carried out by Amtrak between Trenton and New Brunswick, NJ. The new Amtrak ACS-64 electric locomotives built by Siemens have been operating between Boston and Washington DC since February 2014.
“Siemens is currently the only supplier of multilevel direct converters. They can be universally used in both central and decentralized traction power supply networks and are already successfully operating internationally,” said Elmar Zeiler, Head of Siemens Business Rail Electrification.
“Modern infrastructure is essential for ensuring that we can bring our passengers safely and reliably to their destination. Upgrading Metuchen will help us meet growing demand in the coming years,” said Joseph Boardman, President and CEO of Amtrak.
The Sitras SFC plus static frequency converter is a multilevel direct converter that supplies single-phase traction power networks from three-phase networks. It essentially consists of only one converter that directly couples the two networks. The three-phase AC voltage is directly converted into a single-phase AC voltage with different frequency. Due to its multilevel technology, no traction transformer is needed to feed the overhead contact line.
Siemens’ static frequency converters have been successfully in use worldwide since 1994, including the 180-megawatt station operating for Amtrak in Richmond, Pennsylvania (USA), which was the world’s biggest station at the time it was opened in 2002. Examples of the latest generation of the modular multilevel direct converter Sitras SFC plus are in service in Häggvik and Eskilstuna in Sweden, as well as in Nuremberg, Rostock, Adamsdorf, Frankfurt/Oder and Cottbus in Germany.

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