Research project 'eBus Skorpion'
Since January 2014, a team from the Institute of Energy and Traffic at the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau (UAS Zwickau) has been developing an automatic overhead line contact system for trolley buses. It is a state-funded project within the framework of a federal government initiative called “Schaufenster Elektromobilität” (showcase e-mobility).
Such an automatic overhead line contact system is required to enable trolley buses equipped with a small battery system to tide over short distances (5 - 20 km) without an overhead line. This principle – called a partial overhead line – will make the application of trolley buses much more flexible compared to existing systems. The advantage is that the trolley connectors do not have to be connected manually or aided by so-called “wiring funnels” at each new beginning of the partial overhead line.
To date there has been no solution for an automatic overhead line contact system, as the task of guiding the trolley poles with contact shoes of only about three cm. width to the very thin overhead wires (diameter only twelve mm.), mounted at a height of approximately five meters is indeed very challenging.
So far, the initial tests of the developed prototype of the automatic overhead line contact system have shown promising results. In addition, the prototype was successfully tested on a real catenary in Eberswalde (Brandenburg) in November 2015.