China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) has signed a long-term strategic partnership with Maxwell Technologies, a leading developer and manufacturer of ultra-capacitor-based energy storage solutions. CRRC is one of the largest rail car manufacturers in the world. The partnership will allow the two companies to develop new capacitive energy storage solutions for customers in the Chinese rail market.

Maxwell TechnologiesCapacitive energy storage technology offers high power density performance under extreme temperatures with a long operational lifetime and is ideally suited for rail transportation applications, particularly commuter rail applications like subways and light rail cars.

Maxwell Technologies was chosen because of its global leadership in ultra-capacitor solutions. Its products are already proven in global transportation applications such as start-stop autos and hybrid buses, which require rapid braking, energy recuperation, and power delivery.

“The current expansion of rail transportation infrastructure in China will continue well into the next decade and has higher requirements on energy saving and environment protection now and in the future, particularly for onboard rail vehicles,” said Liu Baoming, chairman of CRRC.

“We firmly believe capacitive energy storage technology is essential to providing solutions that meet those energy saving and environment protection requirements. We highly value Maxwell Technologies’ expertise in capacitive energy storage and trust its technology leadership to help us keep pace with the rate of innovation required now and into the next decade.”

“Rail transportation applications are an excellent match for ultra-capacitors, and the rail market will be a significant opportunity for Maxwell,” said Dr. Franz Fink, Maxwell’s president and chief executive officer. “In China, advanced energy storage and power delivery solutions will play an increasingly important role in improving efficiencies and reducing carbon emissions.

“Our partnership with CRRC represents an excellent opportunity for us to generate meaningful revenue in a three-to-five-year horizon through the co-development of application specific technology and products for the expanding China rail market.”

While lithium-ion batteries are leading the way toward grid scale power storage, ultra-capacitors may also have a role to play, particularly in absorbing instabilities in the utility grid due to sudden unanticipated inputs. A capacitor is capable of charging and discharging far more quickly than any known storage battery.