Railway Battery Power System for Tokyo Monorail Ordered

Nov. 19, 2012

Tokyo, November 19, 2012—Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has received an order from Tokyo Monorail Co., Ltd. for the Battery Power System (BPS) mainly intended for the purpose of emergency train runs.


The BPS ordered by Tokyo Monorail is a 2-parallel system consisting of 40 GIGACELL* modules  and will be installed at the Shinagawa Substation in March 2013. Subsequently, another BPS is scheduled to be installed at the Tamagawa Substation during fiscal year 2013. These two installations will provide emergency power supply in the event of a power outage, enabling stalled trains to transport passengers to the nearest station for a smooth evacuation.


After the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, Tokyo Monorail has been considering ways to secure passenger safety in the event of a power outage stalling trains midway between stations. Kawasaki proposed using the BPS, which efficiently accumulates and stores regenerative electric power, as an emergency power source for moving stalled trains. In April 2011, Kawasaki conducted a demonstration test with Tokyo Monorail at the Katsushima Substation to verify BPS's ability to power trains in an emergency situation.


The BPS uses Kawasaki’s proprietary high-capacity nickel-metal hydride GIGACELL batteries.  The rapid charging and discharging capabilities of the GIGACELL enables the BPS to operate without any kind of control device, such as a chopper, so it can be connected directly to the traction power line.  The absence of the controller means no controller-related losses and delays, no electromagnetic interference (EMI) that can interfere with railway signal and communication systems and makes for a more compact and cost effective system.  The BPS contributes to safe, reliable rail transport and the efficient use of energy.


Unlike many conventional energy storage systems for railways, the high capacity of the BPS enabled by the GIGACELL allows it to power trains in an emergency. In addition, Tokyo Monorail can expect further energy savings by introducing more train cars fitted with a regenerative braking system, as with other railway operators that already use the BPS.


Kawasaki has delivered a number of BPS to railway operators both in Japan and abroad, including demonstration tests, to help stabilize line voltage and save energy through the effective use of regenerative electric power. Tokyo Monorail highly evaluated the ability of the BPS to power trains in an emergency and its outstanding energy saving performance, which led to this latest order. Numerous railway operators, including monorail and subway operators, have expressed interest in BPS-powered emergency runs as an effective measure in the event of a major earthquake.


Kawasaki will continue to actively market its BPS to help railway operators meet its safety and energy-saving needs.


* GIGACELL is a registered trademark of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.