The most surprising product in Japan. The merchandise which best contributed to the improvement of productivity in Japan and which has been achieving transmission of information with largest effects. The largest ever hit. Such are the expressions used by people of the world to describe "Shinkansen", super-express train of Japan, which made its debut in Tokaido Line in October, 1964 and has so far transported the total number of 12 billion passengers. "Nozomi 500 Series" trains which started commercial operation last year with the maximum speed of 300km/h are Shinkansen trains which are currently the fastest trains in the world (average operating speed).
The first generation of "Nozomi" started operations in March, 1997, and "Nozomi 700 Series", which is still never than "Nozomi 500 Series", is expected to appear in Tokaido Line next year. As a result, we will see 3 different types of the fastest "Nozomi" trains running on the Tokaido and Sanyodo Lines including the first generation "Nozomi 300 Series" developed by JR Tokai, "Nozomi 500 Series" developed by JR West Japan and put into operation on the Sanyodo Line last year, and "Nozomi 700 Series" which is currently under joint manufacture by JR Tokai and JR West Japan.
On all of those fastest "Nozomi 500 Series" trains formed with 6 carriages, is adopted and working as dehumidifier for low-noise type pantograph.
For 10 years from 1989, 300 units of had been used as vehicle dehumidifier to be installed before the tank for air brake. On the basis of this achievement, was adopted for the first time as dehumidifier for low-noise type pantograph, role considered to be most difficult, of "Nozomi 500 Series" trains formed with 16 carriages which started test runs in 1996 and were put in commercial operation in March, 1997. After that, was installed on all of the remaining 80 vehicles of 5 "Nozomi 500 Series" trains, and 40 units in total of are currently adopted and working as dehumidifiers for pantograph.
A great obstacle which appeared first in the high-speed test run of the New Shinkansen "Nozomi 500 Series" was a problem of pantograph. When the speed is raised, the "boat-shaped body" of the pantograph is pushed up by buoyancy of air like an airplane that takes off, to eventually cut off the aerial wiring or reduce the power collecting capacity from aerial line with violent movements. Moreover, the noise produced from the pantograph represents 30 to 50% of the entire train noise and, particularly, clearing the environmental standard for noise value of "no higher than 70dB in residential area" stipulated by the government was a big problem. For that reason, it was absolutely necessary to switch the pantograph from the conventional spring type to air-driven wing type which produces less noise with smooth follow-up performance, for high-speed train operation.
The High Speed Project Team of JR West Japan, which was formed in June, 1990, set a goal of putting this wing type pantograph to practical use. This team studied over 100 different kinds of pattern even for shape only, and worked out a unique idea of shaping the section of the "boat-shaped body" made of metal bars, which gets in contact with the aerial wiring, in the form of a wing and make notched projections on the side faces of the stanchion. A hint for this shape was given by a casual utterance of an engineer who was also a member of The Japan Wild Birds Society. A technology which was deeply affected by this casual utterance realized an ideal air type low-noise wing-shaped pantograph clearing the environmental standard for noise.
has been continuing practically maintenance-free operations for already 4 years and maintaining the air which controls this wing-shaped pantograph at a weight of one 30th compared with a conventional product.
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