Ultracapacitors from Maxwell Technologies (NASDAQ:MXWL) have been selected as the electricity storage element for the EnerGstor braking energy recuperation system by Canada’s Bombardier Transportation, Maxwell reports.
Wayside EnerGstor units are fitted with an ultracapacitor array that can store up to 2 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy from a passing railcar or train’s braking energy recuperation system.
“Recuperative braking is accomplished by running the vehicle’s electric motor backwards to stop the vehicle with the motor’s resistance,” Maxwell explains. Motors become generators, converting kinetic energy into electricity, parked in the ultracaps.
“The ultracapacitor-based energy storage unit captures and stores energy that otherwise would be wasted in a conventional, friction-based, braking system,” Maxwell says. “Ultracapacitors also provide extremely long operational life in the demanding public transit environment and function normally at extreme temperatures, contributing to system reliability and reduced operating expenses.”
EnerGstor benefits include a 20% or even 30% reduction in grid power consumption, Maxwell says. EnerGstor reduces brake maintenance and can provide backup power enabling trains to reach a station during grid power failure.
Bombardier also promotes a catenary-free inductive energy transfer system for trains, called Primove. Primove employs double layer capacitors, Bombardier says.
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