Due to the non-necessity of any support cable, the rigid catenary had initially been developed to allow electrification of tunnel tracks for trains and metros, or where space for electrification is limited.
Many underground networks use the rigid catenary since years, notably in Spain where the rigid catenary was generalized in order to increase on-track safety, by not using third rail system, and for high reliability and low maintenance reasons.
The rigid catenary is an assembly of an extruded heat treated aluminium profile and a copper or alloyed copper contact wire.
Thanks to its rigidity and to its limited dimensions, the use of such aluminium profile is therefore ideal for electrification insideworkshops.
Rigid catenary is delivered by 10-12m rods which are then assembled together by union flanges in order to constitute a section, with a total length generally limited to 2-300m, and up to 500m in certain cases.
The rigid catenary is hung at the extremity of each jib arm via suspension sliding claws. Once the aluminium profile is all assembled, the contact wire can be inserted thanks to the specific installation carriage.
To avoid any electrolytic corrosion phenomenon between the aluminium profile and the copper contact cable, the low part of the profile includes some small orifices to allow air flow and wrestle condensation effects. In addition, during the installation of the contact wire, a specific grease is applied to better stop humidity.
The proposed rigid catenary is compliant with TSI specifications (Technical Specifications for
Interoperability in the European Community). Its technical characteristics are the followings:
Aluminium profile section: 2220 mm²
Copper contact wire section: from 107 to 152 mm²
Possible voltages : 1,5kV DC, 3kV DC, 15kV AC 16 2/3 Hz, 25kV 50Hz
Aluminium profile linear weight :6,1 kg/m