Saft, the designer and manufacturer of high-tech industrial batteries, has been awarded major contracts by CNR Changchun, China’s state-owned rolling stock manufacturer, to supply the onboard battery systems for metro trainset fleets currently under construction for the two emerging Tier 2 cities of Chengdu and Nanchang.

Over a 16-month period, from January 2014 to April 2015, Saft is supplying 156 battery systems to CNR Changchun for installation on Type B rolling stock for Lines 3 and 4 of the Chengdu Metro and Line 1 of the Nanchang Metro. The battery systems, based on Saft’s specialised SRM+ rail batteries, will provide up to 45 minutes of emergency backup power for critical onboard services including lighting and ventilation.

China has around 15 emerging Tier 2 cities characterised by their size and economic significance – Chengdu has a population of 14 million and Nanchang 5 million. Light rail and metro rail projects are a high priority in China for Tier 2 cities in order to reduce the significant congestion and pollution issues that exist within these major population centres. It is China’s continued investment in urban rail that is a major contributory factor to the anticipated strong growth of the Asia-Pacific rail market – estimated at 4.1% for 2014-19.

“These latest orders for the cities of Chengdu and Nanchang confirms Saft’s continued emergence within China as a key battery supplier for prestige metro projects, following on from previous orders in Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuxi and Beijing,” said Xavier Delacroix, general manager of Saft’s IBG Division. “The key to this success is the proven quality and reliability of our specialised rail batteries combined with the high level of local system engineering and service support provided by our Zhuhai facility.”

Chengdu Metro

Chengdu, the country’s 10th largest city and an important economic centre in western China, opened its first metro line in 2010. By 2020 it will have 10 lines and 350 km of track carrying over 13 million passengers every day.

CNR Changchun is currently supplying 51 six-car trainsets for the Chengdu Metro – 24 trainsets for Line 3 and 27 for Line 4. Each trainset will be fitted with two battery systems comprising 80 Saft SRM+ batteries.

Nanchang Metro

Nanchang is the capital of Jiangxi Province in southeastern China. Nanchang Metro Line 1 is the first rail transit line ever constructed in the city and it is expected to be operational in 2015. It will exceed 120 km in length in 2020 after Phase 2 is finished.

CNR Changchun is currently supplying 27 six-car trainsets for the Nanchang Metro, each trainset will feature two battery systems comprising 78 Saft SRM+ batteries.

SRM+ batteries ensure extended maintenance intervals

A major advantage of the Saft SRM+ batteries for CRC is that they will need no special attention between normal rolling stock maintenance examinations.  Topping up with distilled water is only required at two-years intervals and there is no need to change the electrolyte during the battery’s’ lifetime.

Furthermore, compared to an equivalent lead-acid battery, Saft’s SRM+ solution can achieve a 50% reduction in battery weight for applications operating at around 0°C, helping to optimise Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).