Saft battery systems are ready to take the desert heat for Doha Metro
Saft has signed two major contracts with Borri, the UPS manufacturer, and Kinki Sharyo, the rolling stock manufacturer. Saft is playing a key role in the Qatar Rail’s Doha Metro project by providing over 150,000 nickel-technology backup batteries, which are designed to operate with the highest reliability under extreme climatic conditions.
The Saft batteries will be fitted in the 37 metro stations and onboard the trains to provide a total of over 100 million amp hours (Ah) of backup capacity for three metro lines covering a total distance of 76 kilometers.
Qatar is undertaking a transport revolution as it prepares to become the tourist destination of the future. A new ‘Qatar National Vision 2030’ outlines Qatar’s master plan to improve its quality of life, including the creation of Doha’s new automated, driverless metro, currently one of the world’s largest projects for a single metro system.
When it came to specify the backup batteries for the Doha Metro the crucial factor was the high operating temperature in the hot desert climate. The average summer temperature of +38°C, with peaks that sometimes exceed +45C, can severely limit the performance and operational life of lead-acid batteries. In contrast, Saft’s batteries are based on nickel technology that ensures total reliability and long life over a wide range of temperatures.
For the metro substations, Saft is supplying over 140,000 maintenance-free Uptimax battery cells to Borri. They will support critical sub-systems, including the UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) serving the Station Power Substation (SPS) systems and cover signaling, automated fare collection, telecom and SCADA, platform screen doors and tunnel ventilation. If the main power supply should fail, the batteries will also provide up to 8 hours of backup power for the CCTV, emergency lighting and firefighting equipment.
Saft is also supplying complete ‘plug and play’ onboard battery systems to Kinki Sharyo for 75 sets of three-car driverless metro trains. The MRX batteries will provide backup power for up to 60 minutes to support emergency lighting, air conditioning, door operation and communication systems in the event of an interruption to the main power supply. Saft MRX batteries have been developed specifically for onboard rail applications where their exceptionally compact and lightweight design is ideally suited for projects like the Doha Metro where installation space is at a premium.
The battery systems will be manufactured in Saft’s factories in Sweden and France. Deliveries have already started and are scheduled for completion in 2019.