Kiepe Electric has ordered 80 standardized lithium-ion battery systems from Voltabox AG for trolleybuses. The delivery of the systems will begin in the middle of this year.
Each battery system is made up of three structurally identical standard containers, each of which contains 12 battery modules with lithium titanate (LTO) cells. The standard container has an energy content of 15.2 kWh. Long-term charging and discharging amounts to 50 kW, but can reach up to 80 kW. The nominal voltage stands at 662.4 V.
Furthermore, containers are designed with an optimal weight of around 300 kg. With more than 15,000 charging and discharging cycles, the lifespan of Voltabox battery systems is five times longer than that of the previous trolleybus battery systems.
The high-voltage battery systems of trolleybuses are charged during the normal operation of the vehicle through the catenary wire. The battery-electric system makes it possible to circumvent traffic jams or flexibly extend the previously firmly defined routes beyond the existing overhead wiring network.
The switch to battery-powered operation is seamless, meaning – as opposed to diesel backup generators—without disrupting the journey. The vehicle concept combines a large passenger volume with an almost unlimited range and allows for uninterrupted 24-hour operation.
With the standard container, Voltabox has developed a solution that considerably simplifies the conversion of trolleybus auxiliary drives to modern lithium-ion battery systems, thereby accelerating the process of phasing out diesel backup generators.
Prior to that, a pilot project involving two trolleybuses to test this system solution was carried out in the Dutch city of Arnhem.
The Voltabox systems will support trolleybuses in four cities in Switzerland and Italy. Series production is due to start immediately, and delivery is planned to be completed by the spring of 2021.
In addition battery systems, Voltabox will also deliver the corresponding air-conditioning systems for the liquid cooling of the battery systems. These ensure optimal operating conditions even under high differences in temperature, as seen in many regions of Italy.