New Industry Products

Lithium-ion Starter Batteries for Locomotives

September 15, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

The Start Pac Li64RR 96-AHr lithium-ion railroad locomotive battery, from Rotocraft Enterprises LLC, delivers 2800A peak current and is designed to replace traditional lead acid batteries. The Start Pac Li64RR battery has several advantages including higher energy density, significantly reduced weight and size, two to three times the cycle life and no sulfation issues. Most importantly, the Start Pac Li64RR is a completely maintenance-free locomotive battery which greatly enhances personnel safety and reduces operational costs. The Start Pac Li64RR contains no acid and is completely sealed.

Present day lead acid locomotive batteries weigh thousands of pounds and require two 32-V units connected in series for a common 64-V battery unit. The Start Pac Li64RR is a single 64-V battery that weighs only 320 pounds and measures 43” long by 19” wide by 14” high, significantly smaller overall compared with the lead-acid batteries it replaces.

The Li64RR is specified to function from 120 to -20 degrees F. If it is colder than -20 F, it may not “turn-over or start” the engine on the first attempt. To address this, the user is advised to try starting the engine normally and if the engine does not start, wait 20-30 seconds and try again. Often times, the load on the battery will generate just enough internal battery heat to warm the battery to >-20F and allow the battery to function normally.

The Start Pac Li64RR is protected from potentially damaging conditions by a built in patent pending Battery Protection System (Start Pac BPS). This system internally disconnects the Li64RR from the locomotive when pre-programmed conditions are met. In the event that the Li64RR BPS does disconnect it from the locomotive system, bringing the battery back online is as simple as either plugging the battery into any 110Vac source to recharge from the built in charger, or jump-starting the locomotive.