New Industry Products

Vox Power Unveils DC/DC Power Module for Railway Systems

December 02, 2023 by Jake Hertz

The DC/DC module from Vox Power meets railway industry standards for shock, vibration, safety, and EMC.

As one of the oldest and most vital modes of transportation, trains play a critical role in global commerce and mobility. However, this sector faces growing challenges, including aging infrastructure, integrating advanced technologies, and adapting to evolving safety and environmental standards. 


High-speed train.

High-speed train. Image used courtesy of California HSRA


Railway electrification, a key part of this modernization effort, brings its own set of complexities. Vox Power recently developed DC/DC power modules designed for railway applications to assuage these concerns.

What are the challenges of railway power system design, and what is Vox bringing to the table?


DC/DC Converters for Railway Applications

In the railway industry, DC/DC power supplies are pivotal for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of trains and railway infrastructure. Here, these converters are tasked with handling fluctuating input voltages while providing stable power to various onboard and trackside systems. Unfortunately, the design of these power supplies must navigate several unique challenges associated with railway systems.

First, the wide range of input voltages in railway applications poses a significant challenge. Trains often operate with battery voltages ranging from 48 V to 110 V, and the power supply must accommodate these variations without compromising performance. This requires sophisticated design techniques to ensure the converters can adapt to different input voltages while maintaining high efficiency.


EN50155 input voltages.

EN50155 input voltages. Image used courtesy of CUI


Another challenge is the harsh environmental conditions commonly encountered in railway applications. Power supplies must withstand extreme temperatures, vibrations, and other physical stresses. This necessitates robust and durable design choices to ensure long-term reliability and safety under challenging conditions.

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is also a critical consideration. Railway systems are dense with electronic equipment, and the power supply must not interfere with other systems nor be susceptible to interference. Meeting stringent EMC standards is essential to ensure safe and uninterrupted operation.

Finally, space constraints on trains demand that power supplies be compact yet powerful. Designing a small form factor converter that does not sacrifice power or efficiency is a complex task, requiring innovative approaches to component selection and circuit design.


Vox Power’s DC/DC Power Modules

Vox Power has unveiled the VCCR300 Series of DC/DC modules for railway applications in response to these challenges.

The series offers a broad DC input voltage range, accommodating standard railway battery voltages from 48 V up to 110 V. This range aligns with EN50155 railway standards, ensuring compatibility with diverse railway power systems. These input voltages can be converted into a range of outputs, with the series offering 12 V, 24 V, 36 V, and 48 V, each with a wide adjustment range of 90% to 125%. This functionality enables users to scale power requirements efficiently, ensuring even load distribution across each 300 W unit.


The VCCR300.

The VCCR300. Image used courtesy of Vox Power


Safety and reliability are embedded into the design of the VCCR300 Series. It includes internal fusing and boasts a full power 10 ms holdup time as standard. Additionally, the series meets the stringent requirements of MIL-STD-810G for shock and vibration, making it highly resilient in dynamic railway environments. Regarding electromagnetic compatibility, the VCCR300 exceeds the requirements of EN50121-3-2, EN55035, and EN55032 class B, ensuring harmonious operation within the electromagnetically dense railway infrastructure.

As a testament to its rugged design, the series' calculated mean time between failures (MTBF) exceeds 2 million hours.


Addressing Railway Industry Challenges

As railway networks continue to expand and modernize, the industry is seeking power solutions that are functionally robust and contribute to the overall sustainability and efficiency of railway operations. In this context, the VCCR300 Series represents an exciting offering. With a compact size, high-efficiency design, wide input voltage range, and robust build, the VCCR300 could meet railway systems' reliability, adaptability, and durability demands.