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Ioxus to provide ultracapacitors for Long Island Railroad wayside energy storage system

19 April 2014

Ioxus ultracapacitors are being fitted to the railway wayside traction power on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). The ultracapacitors will provide voltage support to assist the traction power system, capturing and storing the energy produced by the train, using it to facilitate better acceleration and allowing for greater energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption.

Ultracapacitors charge and discharge quickly, making them very suited for voltage support needs and recovering energy that would otherwise be lost in light rail transportation. The design of Ioxus ultracapacitors allows for high duty cycle and a sustained high current throughput, which is integral to energy efficiency and achieving the optimum level of energy regeneration.

Ioxus ultracapacitors were selected for use on the LIRR by Electrical Power worX Corp (EPX), a company specializing in the engineering and development of energy storage systems.

We are fitting the ultracapacitor bank in 20-foot shipping containers, where it will sit on the railway traction power feeds and interface with a high power DC-DC converter. Its high-duty cycle and efficient throughput will be integral to successfully providing voltage support and reducing energy consumption, improving the LIRR trains’ performances.

—Marcus Emerson, Sr. Electrical Engineer/Project Manager of EPX

EPX selected Ioxus to supply ultracapacitors to the LIRR following consultation with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA made its decision following successful demonstrations that detailed how Ioxus’ ultracapacitors would help the LIRR reduce energy consumption by up to 30% and improve railway operations.

In a similar project, VYCON, a designer and manufacturer of flywheel kinetic energy storage systems, recently completed delivery of its kinetic energy storage system at the Los Angeles Metro Red Line Westlake/MacArthur Park station. The equipment will be used in Metro’s Wayside Energy Storage Substation-WESS Project. (Earlier post.)

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See? I commented that a similar system in SanFran would pay for itself in a heavy commuter corridor like NYC. But this article implies that the Long Island RR is light transit. It is not. It is a commuter RR in the same track and weight classes as Amtrack. The electricity wasted during rush hour while trains wait to enter the Queens Midtown Tunnel area and Penn Station are astounding. The third rail system is also prone to breakdowns as that and the switching and signal systems are up to a century old.

So this is big news. Don't kid yourself about the modernity of US mass transit.

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