US ultracapacitor-based energy storage firm Maxwell Technologies has confirmed the first commercial application of its lithium-ion capacitors as it continues to embrace the potential of China’s railway market.
The technology was developed in conjunction with Chinese rail manufacturer China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC-SRI).
The project is the first to use Maxwell’s new lithium-ion technology to recoup regenerative energy in the train’s trolley system.
It follows last year’s strategic partnership with CRRC-SRI to collaborate on developing next-generation capacitive energy storage systems.
CRRC-SRI will use the lithium-ion capacitors for the Changsha Subway in Changsha, Hunan.
Maxwell claims the technology can keep light rail vehicles going for five to 10 minutes in a single 30-second charge by combining ultracapacitors’ high power density with lithium-ion’s high energy density.
“The commercial use of lithium-ion capacitors represents a transformation in the energy storage industry and a significant opportunity for Maxwell to revolutionise the way power is distributed in rail applications in China,” said Dr. Franz Fink, president and CEO of Maxwell Technologies.
“We believe there is a large opportunity to use the technology in even more applications, such as grid firming, wind pitch control and robotics.”
“As railways continue to be a dominant form of transportation in China, rail infrastructure increasingly needs dependable energy saving technologies,” said Liu Baoming, chairman of CRRC-SRI.
But this is not Maxwell’s first foray in China. Earlier this year the company announced its ultracapacitors were being used for regenerative braking energy storage in the Beijing subway system.