First Test of BPS for International Railways a Success

Jul. 27, 2010

Tokyo, July 27, 2010 – Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has successfully completed its first overseas test of Kawasaki’s Battery Power System (BPS) for railways. The BPS employs Kawasaki’s proprietary large nickel metal-hydride GIGACELL battery. Kawasaki’s Yonkers, New York-based subsidiary, Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. conducted the test in cooperation with New York City Transit (NYCT) after receiving a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for the development of new technologies that will increase energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

There is a growing need for energy efficient products to combat a host of problems related to chronic electricity shortages across the US. Transit operators like the NYCT need products and technology that can safely move railcars to the nearest station in the event of voltage drops and blackouts due to electricity shortages.

The three-month-long testing process, which involved installing a BPS between two substations along a stretch of the NYCT’s A Line running through New York City’s borough of Queens, demonstrated that the energy generated via the test cars’ regenerative braking system could be effectively stored for later use. Energy discharged by the BPS was able to compensate for power loss along the catenary, preventing voltage drops as well as minimizing and stabilizing fluctuations in supply voltage from substations to cut power consumption. When a BPS is installed by a commercial rail service operating trains that use regenerative braking, the stored energy can effectively compensate for line voltage drops during startup as well as normal and rush hour operations. The BPS offers rail operators a sure way to lower overall power consumption and utility expenses, including the cost for new substations. The NYCT gave the BPS high marks during the much anticipated power outage test for its ability to move a 10-car train a distance of approximately 2.5 km and still keep the air conditioning and lighting systems running while charged to only about 11% of its full capacity. Calculations based on these test results indicate that a fully charged BPS could move a 17-car train to an adjacent station located a distance of 1.2 km away.

Owing to the success of this verification testing, Kawasaki began tests to assess the actual introduction of the BPS for subway lines using the central transformer station for the Manhattan area, which is subject to a serious power shortage, in order for BPS usage to be extended to the various lines in NYCT.

The BPS successfully passed a test run on an Osaka subway line in November 2007 as well. Kawasaki will now leverage these latest test results to market the BPS in Japan, the U.S. and around the world. Also working to bring the BPS to the smart grid, an innovative grid technology that maximizes the use of renewable energy, Kawasaki is finding new ways to minimize our carbon footprint.


Specifications for Railway Battery Power System

Battery       GIGACELL nickel metal-hydride battery
Number of cell layers: 30
Nominal voltage: 36 V
Rated capacity: 150 Ah
(Equipped with pressure relief valve, battery monitor, forced air cooling fan)

Banks         Cubicle with air conditioning system
Number of modules: 17
Voltage: 670 V
Energy capacity: 100.5 kWh
External dimensions (L x W x H): 2.5 m x 1.6 m x 1.1 m
Weight: Approximately 4.9 t


Connection: 4 parallel, directly to catenary
Voltage: 670 V
Capacity: 600 Ah
Energy capacity: 402 kWh

Safety systems

High-speed DC circuit breaker (on both negative and positive ends)

*'GIGACELL' is a trademark, or registered trademark of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. in JAPAN and U.S