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Hoppecke’s special batteries help Bombardier keep production of new London Underground trains on track

Posted: 1 December 2011 | Sue Tupling Changeworks Communications Ltd | No comments yet

Special batteries are being fitted to new London Underground trains…

hoppecke container

Nearly 400 valve regulated lead acid batteries from Hoppecke Industrial Batteries are being fitted to new London Underground trains made by Bombardier for use on sub-surface lines (SSL).

hoppecke containerThe trains are being built in Derby and Hoppecke is delivering a complete ‘rail.power’ battery system to Bombardier. In all, Hoppecke is supplying two batteries for each of 190 new trains which will operate on the District Line, the Metropolitan Line, the Circle Line and the Hammersmith and City Line, all of which run above and below ground.

Bombardier won the contract to produce the trains between 2009 and 2014 and many of the Hoppecke battery packs – which are being delivered from the Hoppecke Batteriesysteme factory in Brilon, Germany – are already in use, one in the front engine carriage and one in the back on every train.

The rail.power valve regulated lead acid batteries are maintenance free and are replaced every five years. Because making all the trains will also take five years, this means that the first trains produced will be needing new batteries at around the same time the last trains are being delivered.

When the batteries reach the end of their life and are replaced, the spent batteries will be taken away by Hoppecke to its recycling foundry in an idyllic forest location in Germany. The metal foundry is the only one in Europe to have been certified to three separate standards: DIN EN ISO 9001 (methods and process), DIN EN ISO 14001 (environment audit) and special waste disposal regulations covering all associated waste codes for storage, treatment and recycling.

As well as requiring zero maintenance, the rail.power batteries are based on the vlies.tec® technology and offer a long cycle life with maximum cranking current and no corrosion. Easy to handle and easy to clean, the batteries also offer enhanced protection against the risk of explosion and prevent short-circuits.

According to Paul Butchart, Special Power Manager at Hoppecke, it was important for Bombardier, that for this prestigious SSL contract, the company had to fit the trains with the most reliable and cost-effective power source available and was aware of Hoppecke’s expertise from previous projects.

“This Bombardier contract is further evidence of the reputation Hoppecke has earned as a solutions provider to the rail power sector,” says Paul. “Our battery systems are recognised by the biggest names in the business for their reliability and value for money and we have an unrivalled record for managing lead-acid batteries in an environmentally conscious way.”

Richard Grant, Hoppecke’s key account manager for Bombardier, adds: “This order means a lot to us because we want to work with the very best and our relationship with Bombardier is second to none. We are delighted the company chose us as the preferred supplier of power solutions for these top quality trains.”

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