French industrial battery manufacturer Saft has secured its first electric multiple unit (EMU) contract from Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation (BST) for its trains operating on China’s high-speed rail services.
A Sino-Canadian joint venture between Bombardier and CSR Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock, BST is one of China’s leading manufacturers of railway passenger cars and rolling stock.
Under the deal, Saft will deliver 100 MRX fully integrated onboard nickel-based battery systems to be equipped on 20 new ‘Project 807’ EMUs currently being built for 250km/h rail services operated by China Railway (CRC).
The MRX batteries will provide backup power to support vital emergency services, ensuring total reliability and passenger comfort for these trains.
The battery systems will be delivered from Saft’s Zhuhai facility in China and they will include 82 MRX 160 batteries with a nominal 160 Ah capacity together with assembly, electrical testing and commissioning services.
China is investing in high-speed rail as part of its plans to have a complete rail network of more than 120,000km by the end of its 12th five-year plan (2011-2015), 16,448km of which will be high-speed lines.
CRH1A-1170, the first prototype train with a Saft battery system onboard is currently running on the Qinshen (Qinhuangdao-Shenyang) line for qualification.
CRC will carry out a series of qualifications after which, the new 807 trainsets will be deployed on high-speed train services across China.
The Project 807 is a new BST design within the China rail high-speed (CRH 1) family and is an eight-car trainset based on the previous CRH1 and CRH380D (Zefiro) platform.
Compared with previous models, the new trainsets have significant improvements such as the use of aluminium rather than stainless-steel construction to save weight and improve passenger comfort.
The Saft MRX batteries are said to be suitable for the high-speed rail application as they have been purpose-designed to deliver maximum performance, reliability and low total cost of ownership (TCO).
Compared with conventional batteries, these new batteries provide the low maintenance and long-service life benefits of sintered/PBE technology within a slim, lightweight block battery package that shows a major size and volume advantage of 30%.
Saft has already started delivery of the battery systems to BST, while the final delivery is scheduled for the end of 2016.
Image: Saft will equip 100 MRX nickel-based battery systems on BST’s 20 new ‘Project 807’ EMUs. Photo: courtesy of Business Wire.