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Supercapacitor Energy Storage System for Orange Line

Elcon was responsible for preliminary and final design of the traction power system including six 1MW substations with one supercapacitor energy storage substation at the Tacoma location and facility electrical and lighting design for the systems and operational buildings. In addition, Elcon conducted a wayside energy storage study and recommended a 1MW supercapacitor energy storage substation at the Tacoma location in place of a conventional utility connected TPSS.

Elcon worked with LTK Engineering to assist TriMet in optimizing the efficiency of the orange line rail extension. Through the research over the past two years, approximately 75% of the energy regenerated from the light rail during braking is captured and reused, saving an estimated $1.8 million annually in energy cost. Kinh Pham, representatives of LTK Engineering, and TriMet recently coauthored a paper and Kinh presented the latest research at the 2018 Joint Rail Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Owner: TriMet

Location: Portland, OR


  • Traction power design for six 1MW substations
  • Design for supercapacitor energy storage substation
  • Optimization of supercapacitor energy storage for energy and cost savings