Electric Rail Lines- High-Efficiency System Reduces Energy Consumption and Enables Sale of Excess Power for Utility Grid Frequency Regulation
SAN DIEGO, CA. – Maxwell Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MXWL) announced today that it is supplying ultracapacitors to ABB, the global leader in power and automation solutions, for ABB’s recent contract win to upgrade Philadelphia area rail lines. As previously announced, ABB will install a hybrid version of its high-efficiency ENVILINE™ energy recovery and storage system for the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority’s (SEPTA) light rail system serving the greater Philadelphia area.
ABB installed a battery-based ENVILINE braking energy recuperation system in a substation of SEPTA in 2012 and has now incorporated Maxwell ultracapacitors in a new hybrid configuration to increase energy recovery efficiency and extend battery life. In addition to reducing SEPTA rail vehicles’ consumption of grid-supplied electrical energy by 10 to 20 percent, the system enables SEPTA to provide frequency regulation services on the PJM Interconnection Network, a regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
“By incorporating ultracapacitors, we will recover more braking energy, produce higher revenues from frequency regulation and extend battery life,” said Jacques Poulin, ABB’s product manager for energy storage and rail.
The SEPTA model is the first of its kind in the world, going beyond the recovery of braking energy by also helping the electricity grid to be more stable and efficient with fast regulation support.
Braking energy recuperation systems in electric and hybrid vehicles save fuel and electrical energy by using resistance from the electric motor to stop the vehicle, thereby converting kinetic energy that would be wasted in a conventional friction-based braking system into stored electrical energy. Ultracapacitors’ rapid charge/discharge characteristics uniquely enable them to capture and store more energy during each braking event than battery-based systems, which have limited ability to absorb energy in the few seconds required to stop a vehicle.
“Transportation is the world’s largest energy consumer, so deployment of systems that conserve energy and reduce fuel consumption and emissions are creating tremendous long-term growth opportunities for our leading ultracapacitor technologies,” said John Warwick, Maxwell’s interim president and CEO.
Unlike batteries, which produce and store energy by means of a chemical reaction, ultracapacitors store energy in an electric field. This electrostatic energy storage mechanism enables ultracapacitors to charge and discharge in as little as fractions of a second, perform normally over a broad temperature range (-40°C to +65°C), operate reliably through one million or more charge/discharge cycles and resist shock and vibration. Maxwell offers ultracapacitor cells ranging in capacitance from one to 3,000 farads and multi-cell modules ranging from 16 to 160 volts. For more information on Maxwell’s ultracapacitor products, please visit Maxwell.com.
ABB INCORPORATES MAXWELL ULTRACAPACITORS IN ENERGY-SAVING RAIL SYSTEM
About ABB: ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.
About Maxwell: Maxwell is a global leader in the development and manufacture of innovative, cost-effective energy storage and power delivery solutions. Our ultracapacitor products provide safe and reliable power solutions for applications in consumer and industrial electronics, transportation and telecommunications. Our high-voltage grading and coupling capacitors help to ensure the safety and reliability of electric utility infrastructure and other applications involving transport, distribution and measurement of high-voltage electrical energy. Our radiation-mitigated microelectronic products include power modules, memory modules and single board computers that incorporate powerful commercial silicon for superior performance and high reliability in aerospace applications. For more information, please visit our website: www.maxwell.com.