Battery-electric Train can now last much longer, thanks to new research

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Norfolk Southern Railway No. 999, which opened a few years ago is the first locomotive of all-electric, powered by battery of the nation. While it certaily has significant advantages over the diesel trains, there are still kinks to develop. The main, which is the use of lead-acid batteriesand their limited autonomy. But now, thanks to new research, new cost-effective methods to prolong the life of these batteries have been developed.

Penn State researchers sought a splend and inexpensive way, dependent on expensive equipment not improve battery performance. They met with was a way to reverse 'sulphation', which is a degradation that occurs from repeated charge and recharge, and gives rise to an accumulation of lead sulfate.

The researchers "cycling a battery lead-acid for three months in the same way that it would be used in a locomotive." They used a process called electroimpedance full charge/discharge and spectroscopy to identify the main mechanisms of aging. Because of this, researchers have identified the sulfation in one of six cells. They then designed a charge algorithm could charge the battery and reduce the sulfation, but was also able to stop the load before other forms of degradation has occurred. The algorithm successfully risen from cell death and an increase in overall capacity."

"We the desulfated and we have increased its capacity, said Daniel Rahn, Professor of mechanical engineering."We increase it to the new. We were not able to do so, but we got a helping hand."

The cell capacity has increased from 41% and the overall capacity of the battery by 30%. Now researchers are currently working on a method to stop the development of sulfation in the first place.

Norfolk Southern locomotive No.999 began developing in 2008 and has since then served as a testing ground for the development of battery technology that could lead to a "savings and energy emission reduction" for the company.

The research was detailed in the latest issue of the journal of Energy Sources.

The widespread adoption of electric locomotives in the United States, diesel powered, locomotive replacement could go a long way towards reducing carbon emissions in the country. If any truly effective plan to significantly limit carbon emissions in this country is ever developed, technologies and enhancements of this kind will be necessary and probably a priceless value.