Ultracapacitors are routinely used in light rail and smaller trains. They have been implemented on electric and hybrid trains and are becoming key to rail transport.
Ultracapacitors can be used to provide engine start power for locomotive trains. In addition, ultracapacitors can recover energy from a train braking and then provide additional power when the train begins to accelerate again.
Ultracapacitors have proven to be a superior technology for regenerative braking in hybrid buses and trucks and cold starting of diesel engines. These technologies can be applied in a similar way to rail vehicles.
Ultracapacitors have the potential to revolutionize the rail industry. Our technology can significantly improve train efficiency - reduce costs and CO2 emissions, increase energy savings and dynamics of the train. The implementation of ultracapacitor technology provides effective voltage stabilization for rail systems, greatly improves the performance of propulsion for light rail vehicles and significantly advances the locomotive engine starting technologies.
Many railway companies are still using DMU trains without any form of energy regeneration. It can result in penalties related to high CO2 emissions, high running and maintenance costs and heavy wear on brakes and transmission components. Skeleton Technologies is offering KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), an on-board energy storage system, powered by our industry-leading ultracapacitors, which capture braking energy in trains to power acceleration and decrease carbon emissions.
Safety and reliability matter especially in extreme weather conditions of -40 °C. Sometimes transportation companies face situations when DEMU train fails to start, which results in a very costly downtime. The main reason why equipment fails to start is use of lead-acid batteries as power packs to get started. With Skeleton’s Engine Start Modules (ESM), which have the power density matching the requirements of starting procedure, transportation companies will never face battery-related start failures.
Sometimes the catenary is not entirely available for the planned route due to limitations regarding preservation orders in certain city quarters. In this case an on-board energy storage could be a perfect solution, providing energy in track sections without catenary. This application has several significant advantages: no catenary-related constructions needed (fast and easy implementation) and lower public grid connection costs (energy is being regenerated when the train is braking).
Most catenary systems are not capable of feeding energy back to the grid. With our solution the excess of energy is being saved to the wayside energy storage, installed at several train stations. When train accelerates, it draws the energy from ultracapacitors. Fast charging in seconds is available both for on-board and wayside energy storage solution. It provides fast charging of light rail vehicles within seconds. The energy storage absorbs energy and supplies the vehicle enough energy to reach the next couple of stations.