Power Electronics

Batteries Selected for Commuter Trains

Saft has been selected by Kawasaki Rail Car to supply its ultra-low maintenance nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries to power 340 new PA-5 series subway cars. The order for the commuter train cars comes from PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation), a subsidiary of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Saft SRX195 batteries were chosen for their superior performance and exceptional reliability.



“We developed the SRX series to meet the needs of rail transport in terms of power for starting diesel locomotives and for emergency braking systems,” said Tim Coomer, Senior Manager, Contracts & OEM Sales. “This new contract with Kawasaki reinforces Saft’s dominance in the rail transit industry in the North American market.”



Saft SRX Ni-Cd batteries were designed specifically for rail transport with stainless steel containers that provide a high level of resistance to chemical and physical impact. The SRX Ni-Cd batteries use sintered/plastic bonded technology plates, which combine a sintered positive electrode with a plastic bonded negative electrode (S/PBE).

Operating rail vehicles requires a constant source of reliable power for various occurrences. High-speed trains rely on batteries to power back-up braking and tilting systems, which require a high current for a short period of time. Diesel locomotives require a similar power source to start up their engines. Both types of vehicles rely on the battery source to provide the overall back up of the entire low-voltage system. The low-voltage system is responsible not only for emergency lighting and ventilation, but also to power-up the vehicle in the event of converter failure or an emergency shutdown of the high-voltage system.



Kawasaki plans to deliver the 340 new trains over a period between 2008 and 2011. In the PATH project, the new stainless steel trains will be used for a commuter connection between New York and New Jersey.


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