Third rail heating control can be provided by various means from manual operation to autonomous operation.
- Manual Control – this is when a switch/breaker or set of switch/breakers are used to manually turn heaters on or off. This method of control requires that a human being perform the operation manually. This method is the least energy efficient solution and is prone to human error.
- Dispatch Control – this method of control is used to control a set of high power electric contactors remotely. This remote control is typically done through a train dispatch center to turn the heaters on or off. Dispatch control requires a “man in the loop” to make the decision to turn the heaters on or off. This method is more energy efficient than the manual method but is still prone to human error.
- Limited Automated Control – this method of control usually is defined as a single sensor to control the heaters in an automated fashion.Thermostat – this method is typically less energy efficient than a dispatch system
Snow Sensor – this method can become a maintenance problem if not effectively designed and usually is augmented with additional sensors.
- Fully Automated Control – this method of control is defined as an intelligent system that utilizes varied weather sensors, rail sensors and weather prediction to autonomously make decisions to turn the heaters on or off. This method of control is the most energy efficient method of heating control. Nibe Element Railway Solutions offers the Blue Point System as a fully automated solution.
SAN/OMNI utilize the same autonomous system it uses for switch heating control
Blue Point Controller . This controller will fully automate heat according to weather conditions and also supports predictive services.
The SCADA system can be viewed and controlled on the SAN/OMNI secure cloud web site or manually controlled locally at the controller.