All about locomotive batteries, uses & pros-cons



Locomotives are playing crucial role on public transportation sector. These massive engines are truly reliable and able to reduce time and expense on public transportation. Most of the developing countries have longer rail networks and they are pushing their economies forward. However, maintaining these marvellous machines are not as easier as we think. To start these machines, there are bigger locomotive batteries are being used.


Types of locomotive starting batteries

Lead acid batteries
Lead acid batteries are being used from longer period of time for starting diesel locomotives. These are available in different capacity for different engines. These are efficient and need less maintenance. Therefore, these batteries can be seen in most locomotives.

Lithium ion batteries
Lithium ion batteries are now using and these batteries come with a number of benefits compared to conventional lead acid batteries. Most of the railway management boards are considering to replace those lead acid batteries with these latest lithium ion batteries. This is the main reason, most of the locomotives are getting upgraded with these batteries.


Pros and cons of using Lead acid batteries

Pros - Lead acid batteries

  • These are conventional and they can installed easily.
  • Less maintenance required to carry out the starting purpose.
  • Cost effective and can be easily be installed without any hassle.
  • Power output is very high and it can easily the cranks. Therefore, all most all the locomotives are using these batteries for smooth start and for other purposes.

Cons - Lead acid batteries

  • All most all these batteries have short service life. These are only survive for 500 to 1000 cycles.
  • Therefore, they need high investment after their service period.
  • Lead acid batteries are heavy in weight, therefore, it needs enough effort to place at their desired positions.
  • Lead acid batteries take longer charging time. So, they are not ideal to use just after discharging.
  • Need to be properly watered 1 or 2 times in a month.


Pros and cons of using Lithium ion batteries

Pros - Lithium ion batteries

  • Lithium ion batteries are great to install in the locomotives. These are new in this sector.
  • Light in weight and can be installed easily.
  • Takes less time to be recharged.
  • Store enough energy and can go for longer service period.

Cons - Lithium ion batteries

  • These are expensive and require heavy investment for installation.
  • Lithium batteries are sensitive to the high temperature.
  • Lithium batteries have own discharge quality. They get discharged even when they are not in use.

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