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Locomotive/Generator combination

Add switches to diesel electric locomotives to allow generation AC240
  (+9, -1)(+9, -1)
(+9, -1)
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A normal diesel electroc locomotive is a very big electric generator. Most of them are designed to operate at rather high voltages for maximal efficiency (to minimize ohmic losses) and I believe they're generally wired to produce DC. If a diesel-electric locomotive had some additional commutator contacts, however, it would seem like it should be adaptable to produce AC which could in turn be used to power a small neighborhood that would otherwise be suffering through a power failure.

To be sure, centeralized power stations are bound to be more efficient and cheaper to run most of the time, but for places that are located near railroad tracks, it would seem the ability to drive a generator to the neighborhood on an emergency basis could be useful.

supercat, Feb 26 2005

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       What, a train rolls by and my lights turn on?
zeno, Feb 26 2005
  

       Sounds like there is something to this idea. Why was there a power outage though? A train coming down the track that is not on a normal schedule is challenging Murphy's law.
mensmaximus, Feb 26 2005
  

       Someone could be asleep at the switch though, as during the last two annos.
mensmaximus, Feb 26 2005
  

       That's one hell of an electric train set you got yourself there.   

       I like that, [California power crisis]. Marketplace profiteering might be more appropriate phraseology.
normzone, Feb 27 2005
  

       [+] for anything that challenges Murphy's law, [mens]
K o R, Sep 17 2006
  

       I read somewhere that all (or many) locomotives were switching from DC to AC, which was the biggest overhaul since the conversion from steam locomotives.
baconbrain, Sep 17 2006
  

       I like the idea - it would allow diesel electrics to operate at their optimum efficiency point all day long, offloading some of the electric grid supply and avoiding idling uselessly. Less thermal cycling on turbos etc., all with the addition of some clever electronics and an 'electric catch' on the roof, as in all electric trains.   

       As a mobile genset, I think that's pretty crafty too, but rather overpriced!   

       Bun!
Skrewloose, Sep 21 2008
  
      
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