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Physics industrial visit

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Sheffield’s Supertram is a vast network of tracks linking the whole city together. The Sheffield supertram is run by stagecoach. The supertrams employ many aspects of physics in there day to day running I am going to discuss two of these namely regenerative breaking and

Three Phase power supply:

The trams are supplied with electricity through the series of overhead cables which run above all the tracks. The trams then utilise a three phase power supply of 3x 380 V, 100Hz, 13kVA and a DC supply of 24 V, 5kW these originate in the 12 substations that are spread around the city at different maintenance points. The three phase power supply is an alternating current supply with 3 voltages operating at 120° out of phase (see below). image00.png All the currents have identical wavelengths and frequencies just out of phase. Having a three phase supply means the trams are supplied constantly with maximum power. The nature of three phase supply and the great deal o detail requires means it is expensive to install as various expensive components are required namely the converters that are needed. Although the initial costs are high the system is incredible

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When a car or vehicle breaks friction between the wheel and break pad is created. This creates heat energy which is wasted figures show that this can be up to 30% of the engines generated power meaning to accelerate more energy has to be fed back into the system. This greatly reduces the efficiency of vehicles. Regenerative breaking is unique ion that it uses the motor in reverse to slow the tram which, looking at the afore mentioned explanation converts what on a different vehicle would be wasted to heat energy back into electricity. Regenerative breaking for all its qualities is only 30% efficient and this is still dependant on the wiring whether it be series or parallel and also the speed in which the tram is decelerating from, as it is less efficient at lower speeds.  Less fuel used will mean less pollution there fore making regenerative breaking attractive to anyone. The energy saved (using the top speed and maximum efficiency) can be shown by working out the kinetic of the tram first. ,maximum efficiency is only at relatively high speeds so I will work out the energy saved when slowing from 22.2m/s~(max speed) to 10m/s using the formula E=0.5mv2 the mass of a Sheffield supertram is 48000kg.

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http://www.diracdelta.co.uk/science/source/f/l/flemings%20left%20hand%20rule/source.html  on the 9th may

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regenerative_braking#Use_in_compressed_air_cars on the 9th of May

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7390462.stmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheffield_Supertram on the 9th of May

http://www.supertram.net/ - on the 9th of May

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-phaseon the 9th of May

http://www.physclips.unsw.edu.au/jw/power.html on the 9th of May

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