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Sustainable development is the primary goal of an international organization of the United Nations and several countries. Countries have promoted the use of alternative technologies to reduce carbon emissions to achieve goals of sustainable development, Use of alternative technology in mass transportation systems like trains, metros can reduce emissions considerably. Battery systems used in railway infrastructure can play a part to achieve sustainable development.
Most Indian Railways coaches (AC/ Non-AC) are self-generating (SG) types where the electrical power is derived on a standalone basis from alternators driven by axle through V belt drive as long as the coach is moving at maximum full load output (MFO) speed of Alternators. However, when the coach is stationary or moving at lower than MFO speed, the entire coach's electrical load (including AC load in case of AC coaches) is met by a battery.
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In this application, the battery performs in a dusty atmosphere, moderate to high vibration, varying temperatures, restricted time of checking/maintenance, and in a continuous charge-discharge mode. It is the ultimate test of performance and life of a battery where reliability is of utmost importance.
Based on type, train battery market can be segmented into the lead-acid battery, nickel-cadmium battery, lithium-ion battery, and others. Lead-acid batteries have been traditionally used, but the use of high power density lithium-ion batteries has been gaining popularity. Some other battery materials are also under research and testing. Based on the type of locomotive, the train battery market can be segmented into diesel, electric, and hybrid.
Hybrid train use batteries and diesel engines to power the trains. Batteries are used for train lighting, train air conditioning, engine starting in diesel engines, emergency braking, connecting pantograph in electric locomotives and electric multiple units, railway signaling and telecommunications. Pure battery run trains are being tested in a few countries.
The primary market driver for global train battery market is the regulatory push towards the use of clean and alternative technologies in railways to achieve sustainable development goals. Also, increasing awareness about decreasing the carbon footprints is even driving the market growth of train battery market. Key market restraint for the global train battery market is the high initial cost. On-board battery systems are bulky and require more energy consumption.
Some of the notable companies in the global train battery market Exide Industries Ltd., First National Battery, Microtex, Amara Raja Group, Saft, Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation, Akasol AG, DMS technologies, HOPPECKE Batterien GmbH & Co. KG, Fengri Power & Electric Co. Limited, National Railway Supply, and Shield Batteries.
· Train Lighting
· Train Air Conditioning
· Engine Starting
· Electric Locomotives
· Railway signaling and telecommunications
· North America (USA and Canada)
· Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Rest of Europe)
· Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, Australia, Southeast Asia and Rest of Asia Pacific)
· Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Rest of Latin America)
· Middle East & Africa (GCC, South Africa, and Rest of Middle East & Africa)
The global train battery market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Europe is expected to dominate the train battery market owing to robust railway infrastructure. There is scope for retrofitting of batteries in diesel locomotives to convert in hybrid engines in Europe and countries like India, China, UK and Germany have taken the first step to introduce hybrid engines, and fully battery operated trains in their railway network. Rapid modernization and up-gradation of Indian and Chinese rail networks are expected to boost train battery market. Rest of Asian countries and Middle East countries are also expected to give healthy growth to train the battery market on account of increasing rail network. Rapid urbanization and industrialization in Africa are expected to increase the inter-country rail network and hence boost the train battery market.
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