TramWave® is an innovative ground-level traction power supply system without overhead catenaries. With TramWave®, power is provided safely and continuously through a ground contact line that energizes a small section of the line only when the vehicle passes over it and the power collector is in contact with the line.

Contact line

The basic principle of the TramWave system is a module that is embedded permanently in between the rails. The module is usually 3 or 5 meters long (dependent upon curve radius) and it contains all of the elements needed for the correct operation of the ground-level power supply system.

A series of steel contact plates (~50 cm) that are insulated from each other are located at consecutive intervals on the top of the TramWave modules (see pictures). The modules are joined together to form the continuous power supply system for the light rail line.

The modules are placed in a continuous conduit that also contains the positive and negative cables that feed and protect the line.

Vehicle Power Collector

Module located under the vehicle bogie frame and its functions are to: energize the segments in contact with the power collector located under the bogie frame and transfer energy to on-board equipment both for traction and auxiliary power. The collector is positioned against the contact line by a pantograph, which is physically mounted within the bogie structure.

The power collector includes copper and graphite sliding contacts and permanent magnets to attract a flexible ferromagnetic belt, which closes an electrical circuit inside the module, energize only the segments in contact with the power collector.

TramWave® - Benefits for Sustainable Urban Mobility

  • Eliminate the visual impact of traditional overhead catenaries
  • Easy installation and maintenance of the modules embedded in the middle of the rails
  • Ensure safety, operability and availability in all working and environmental conditions
  • Continuous power transmission, with no need for heavy, on-board power storage systems
  • Works with different types of vehicles (trams or electrical vehicles on tires)
  • No problems related to the effects of stray currents from the rails, since negative conductors are included in the module itself
  • No need for electronic or induction devices
  • Regenerative braking and energy savings.