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It has 4,400 HP and 6,000 kW/hr's of capacity

TSemi

Member
Sep 7, 2020
113
137
Texas
Doesn't say what type of Li-ion battery chemistry they use. Wonder what the spec's would be like if they used Tesla 4860 cells? A Tesla Locomotive - now that would be awesome!!


BNSF Railway and Wabtec begin battery-electric locomotive pilot in California - Charged EVs

BNSF Railway and Wabtec begin battery-electric locomotive pilot in California


BNSF Railway and Wabtec, a provider of equipment, systems and services for freight and transit rail, have collaborated to develop a battery-electric locomotive. Now they have begun testing the technology in revenue service between Barstow and Stockton, California.

The battery-powered locomotive will be situated in a consist [a sequence of locomotives and/or cars] between two Tier 4 locomotives, creating a hybrid consist. When running on the mainline, both the battery-electric and diesel locomotives will power the train

Video

The battery-electric locomotive is expected to improve the fuel economy for the entire consist by at least 10 percent. The pilot test will run from January until the end of March, and if it proves successful, BNSF will expand testing to other locations and operating conditions on its system.

BNSF partnered with Wabtec on the development of the battery-electric locomotive, which features an overall energy-management system, including onboard energy storage and system-optimization controls designed to improve consist and train performance.

“The FLXdrive is the world’s first 100-percent, heavy-haul battery-electric locomotive that optimizes the total energy utilization of the entire locomotive consist,” said Alan Hamilton, Wabtec VP, Engineering. “This technology works in a manner very similar to how electric vehicles use regenerative braking.”

“We’ve got everything in place and we’re ready to see how this next-generation locomotive performs in revenue service,” said John Lovenburg, BNSF VP, Environmental. “BNSF is focused on continuing to reduce our environmental impact, and we’re committed to doing our part to test and assess the commercial viability of emerging technologies that reduce emissions.”


And you thought the Tesla Semi is going to take some time charging! One option for charging this battery-operated locomotive is called "Wayside charging/similar to an EV". No other details. It will be interesting to see the setup planned for this stationary charging and how long it will take to charge.

The other means of charging is thru Dynamic Braking(same as regenerative braking in EV's). Dynamic Braking has been in use in diesel-electric locomotives for at 30+ years but all that energy created by DB has been wasted as heat through grids of resistors. Now finally a way has been developed to capture and use that energy.

The new battery-operated locomotive is placed what is called a hybrid consist of locomotives. In railroad terminology a "consist" is locomotives(also known as a unit) M/Ued(multiple unit operation) by an MU cable(electrical) between each locomotive together and operated from the leading locomotive in the consist.



Video


From Wabtec website Homepage

FLXdrive Battery Electric Locomotive
Wabtec is pioneering the application of battery technology for heavy haul locomotives, which typically can pull a freight train loaded with five thousand tons of cargo. In 2020, the company built the FLXdrive: the world’s first 100-percent battery electric locomotive. The locomotive features an overall train energy management system, including approximately 20,000 battery cells. With up to 6,000 kWh capacity that replaces a traditional diesel engine and alternator, the FLXdrive, when used in combination with regular diesel electric locomotives, can reduce overall train fuel usage and emissions by 10 to 30 percent when compared to a traditional consist.

Energy Source Lithium-ion Batteries
Size of Battery Unit 20 racks, which consist of approximately 20,000 battery cells
* HVAC system to keep batteries at room temperature in all environment
* Energy-management system to monitor battery health
Energy Capacity 22.5 Tonnes
Duration of Full 4400 HP output 30-40 minutes
* Recharges during
Emissions Reduces the train’s emissions by at least 10 percent.
Charging There are two ways the locomotive is charged:
• Wayside charging station, Stockton, CA
• Dynamic braking during operation
Weight Maximum Approximately 430,000 lbs
Maximum Speed Approximately 75 MPH
Number of Axles 6
* Battery to supply energy to all four powered axles
Grant Partners BNSF and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the California Air Resources Board
Test Date Late 2020
Test Route Barstow-to-Stockton Route
Route Length 350 miles
 

EldestOyster

Member
Apr 17, 2014
265
174
Moonlight Beach
A Tesla Locomotive - now that would be awesome!!
I don't know why they avoid trains, but they have made similar things to haul rocks out of the Boring tunnels.

The battery-electric locomotive is expected to improve the fuel economy for the entire consist by at least 10 percent.
It probably enables them to go straight up hills at full speed, too!

The other means of charging is thru Dynamic Braking(same as regenerative braking in EV's).
Well, there's your ten percent, right there.
 

BayAreaCelt

Member
Oct 15, 2019
115
47
Bay Area
Why the hell dont they electrify the trains completely? Like the super fast electric powered trains all over Europe? Did IQs drop sharply while I was away? Why not build for the future instead where the Grid supplying the trains is mostly solar / with grid scale battery offset like in Australia? We are long past the time when the weather was not as sunny as Australia in the West coast, we are on fire even in winter now.. There is enough sun energy for everyone - capture it for night time use also. Or that one day when there is a whisp of a cloud for a second these days. Its almost like burying electric lines in high risk or densely populated areas - total witchcraft of logic..
 

bruce4000

Member
Jul 8, 2019
222
393
Seattle
Why the hell dont they electrify the trains completely? Like the super fast electric powered trains all over Europe? Did IQs drop sharply while I was away? Why not build for the future instead where the Grid supplying the trains is mostly solar / with grid scale battery offset like in Australia? We are long past the time when the weather was not as sunny as Australia in the West coast, we are on fire even in winter now.. There is enough sun energy for everyone - capture it for night time use also. Or that one day when there is a whisp of a cloud for a second these days. Its almost like burying electric lines in high risk or densely populated areas - total witchcraft of logic..
Problem with electric trains is the cost of the catenary if the traffic density not high enough like western us. For the battery electric shown above, could charge while in a siding waiting for other trains- which trains do quite a bit of.
 

Ryanflynn

2021 MSLR to the moon
Apr 28, 2021
170
605
Venice, CA
I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, but couldn't they add high powered chargers to safe to do so parts of the track while they train is in motion? Through tunnels, or overhead lines for DC charging?

It feels like a dumb question, but its so obvious and relatively easy to implement.
 

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