– Saft, the industrial battery specialist, is rolling out its advanced Tel.X nickel technology batteries to provide backup power for critical railway crossing signal and barrier control systems in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
SŽDC and ŽSR national railway infrastructure managers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia - rely on their trackside battery systems to support the operation of hundreds of railway crossing systems, both to guarantee public safety and also to ensure the effective control of trains and other traffic. The Czech and Slovak railways carry 225 million passengers and 100 million tons of freight every year.
The orders follow the successful completion of extensive, long-term trials that have demonstrated the capability of the Tel.X design as a reliable, maintenance-free ‘drop-in’ replacement for VRLA (valve regulated lead acid batteries) in existing trackside cabinets. If the main power supply should fail, the 24 V or 28.8 V batteries are required to deliver up to 8 hours of autonomous operation, supporting an 18 A load for barriers and 6 A for signals.
From 2000 onwards, the operators have been modernizing their railway corridors; this has included the introduction of a new crossing design concept with a slimline trackside cabinet based on VRLA batteries. The use of lead-acid batteries in conditions subjected to wide variation in temperatures required the use of air-conditioned cabinets. This has created issues with maintenance and operational costs, so in 2011 Saft was called in to carry out long-term trial installations to demonstrate the advantages of a switch to nickel technology batteries.
Saft’s rail team in the Czech Republic identified Tel.X batteries as the ideal choice as they have been designed for reliable, maintenance-free operation in remote locations across a wide range of operational temperatures from - 20°C to + 50°C and they can also tolerate - 50°C to + 70°C for short durations. This means that there is no longer any need for the cabinets to be air conditioned.
An added benefit is that Tel.X is designed to save both space - thanks to its high energy density (up to 100 Wh/l), and weight – a reduction of up to 30 percent in the same space. So it is able to fit easily within the limited space available within the existing cabinets. It is also fully compatible with the existing equipment without modifications.
A further major advantage of the Tel.X is that it offers predictable performance over a long service life, with no risk of ‘sudden-death’ failure like for VRLA batteries. In these particular railway signaling applications, Tel.X is expected to have a service life of more than 16 years without the need of air conditioning. In comparison, VRLA batteries will last for around 8 years with air conditioning.
The reduction in maintenance, operation and battery replacement costs achieved with Tel.X significantly improves the total cost of ownership (TCO).
“The successful deployment of Tel.X in the Czech Republic and Slovakia confirms the capability of Saft’s nickel technology batteries to deliver reliable, maintenance-free operation in even the most demanding, safety-critical trackside applications,” says Jiri RUCKA, Sales Manager Czech Republic and Slovakia at Saft. “This project also demonstrates how Saft’s sales and engineering teams work in partnership with our rail customers to develop solutions that both enhance safety and reduce cost of battery ownership.”
Between 2012 and 2015, Saft has delivered around 300 sets of Tel.X batteries for railway signaling and crossing control installations in the Czech Republic and will soon deliver Slovakia with additional quantities.
Saft specializes in advanced technology battery solutions for industry, from the design and development to the production, customization and service provision. For nearly 100 years, Saft’s longer-lasting batteries and systems have provided critical safety applications, back-up power and propulsion for our customers. Our innovative, safe and reliable technology delivers high performance in space, at sea, in the air and on land. Saft is powering industry and smarter cities, while providing critical back-up functionality in remote and harsh environments from the Arctic Circle to the Sahara Desert.
Designed for industry. www.saftbatteries.com
Správa Železniční Dopravní Cesty (SZDC) is the state rail owner and operator for the Czech Republic railways. It is responsible for the operation of 9 468 km of tracks, ensuring the operability of the railway infrastructure and maintenance and repairs of the railway infrastructure.
Železnice Slovenskej Republiky (ŽSR) manages and operates nationwide and regional railway tracks and installations for the Slovak Republic covering a total length of 6,871 km. Its mission is to manage and develop the railway infrastructure in accordance with customer demands, provide infrastructure for reliable and safe rail passenger and rail freight transport.
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