Railway DC/DC Converters

DC/DC converters are electronic devices that convert direct current (DC) from one voltage level to another. They are commonly used in railway systems to convert the onboard DC power supply to the various voltages required by the different subsystems.

Railway DC/DC converters are typically required to meet strict safety and reliability standards, as well as to operate over a wide temperature range. Many converters are also required to meet specific fire safety standards.

There are a number of different types of DC/DC converter topologies that can be used in railway applications, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Plug and play dc/dc converters for railway applications are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a simple and convenient way to upgrade or replace existing converter units. These units are designed to plug directly into the existing railway power supply and provide the required DC output voltage.

Advantages of plug and play dc/dc converters include:

  • Reduced installation time and cost
  • No need to modify the existing power supply
  • Reduced risk of electrical faults

Disadvantages of plug and play dc/dc converters include:

  • Limited flexibility – can only be used to replace an existing converter with the same output voltage
  • Not all railway applications will have a compatible power supply

That's when a customised dc/dc converter for railways would be required. A customised dc/dc converter is designed and built to specific customer requirements. This means that the converter can be optimised for the particular application, which can result in improved performance and reliability.

Advantages of customised dc/dc converters include:

  • Improved performance and reliability
  • Can be designed to meet specific customer requirements
  • More flexible than plug and play converters
Click here to find out more about Autronic and the options available


Case Studies

Passenger information panel

Required: 150W in small package, with  high efficiency and wide voltage input (77 - 137)

Solution: HFBC60-W/Ks offers high efficiency in a small package with an ultra wide voltage range.

Offers temperature, shock, vibration and the railway-specific EMC criteria according to EN50121-3-2, as well as radiated emissions, surge, burst and ESD strict compliance with EN50155 is provided without additional components.

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autronic hfc50 passenger information (medium-large)

Train drivers door security lock 

Required: 20W, Input 52V (RIA12) & 110V (EN50155)

Output: 24V

Solution: EC7BW18-72S24 DC/DC converter

Ultra-wide input covers 52V &110V. The power solution was engineered with the customer so that a customised enclosure fitted the existing metalwork. 


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Train doors with cincon ec7BW18 (medium-large)

Other case studies
Highly reliable solutions for axle counters beside the tracks

Special solution for a customer to be used beside the rail tracks. The electrically isolated DC/DC converter supplies a safety application which energises the axle counters and accordingly controls rail traffic areas.

DC/DC converter modified to suit customers requirements

The original solutions with 24 VDC and 60 VDCin are replaced with a single DC/DC converter. The wide input range between 14.4 and 84 VDC helps to reduce the customer’s variety of models. Integrated is an active reverse-polarity protection, an active inrush current limitation as well as a hold up time of 10 ms.

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Other case studies
A special current supply solution to be used in the black boxes of trains.

The isolated DC-DC converter with its cooling plate as part of the housing supplies the safety-critical applications to reliably record data during operation.  

DC/DC converter modified to suit customers requirements

The DC/DC converter was developed during product updating and for overseas use. The plug-and-play solution was based on the requirement that there is a possibility to upgrade already existing units. The ultrawide input range between 14.4 and 154 VDC can be used for all known nominal input voltages according to EN 50155. This facilitates a later qualification of the customer’s own component and reduces the storage costs.

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