Saft batteries to backup Doha metro project

March 20, 2018

More than 150,000 backup batteries from French manufacturer Saft are being installed in metro stations and onboard trains in the Gulf state of Qatar.


Saft said the nickel-cadmium batteries will maintain power for critical loads in case of interruption to the main supply affecting the rapid transport system in the capital city of Doha.


“The Saft batteries will be fitted in the 37 metro stations and on board the trains to provide a total of over 100 million amp hours (Ah) of backup capacity for three metro lines covering a total distance of 76 kilometres,” the company said.


Saft said Qatar is in the midst of a “transport revolution as it prepares to become the tourist destination of the future… including the creation of Doha’s new automated, driverless metro, currently one of the world’s largest projects for a single metro system”.


According to Saft, the hot desert climate— which has a summer temperature of +38°C and peaks that sometimes exceed +45C— was a “crucial factor” in the choice of battery technology.


For the metro substations, Saft is supplying more than 140,000 maintenance-free Uptimax battery cells to Italian electrical systems company Borri. “They will support critical sub-systems, including the UPS serving the station power substation systems and cover signalling, automated fare collection, telecoms and SCADA, platform screen doors and tunnel ventilation,” Saft said.


If the main power supply should fail, Saft said the batteries will also provide up to eight hours of backup power for the CCTV, emergency lighting and fire-fighting equipment.


Saft said it is also supplying complete ‘plug and play’ onboard battery systems to Japanese rail car manufacturer Kinki Sharyo for 75 sets of three-car driverless metro trains. The MRX batteries will provide backup power when needed for up to 60 minutes to support emergency lighting, air conditioning, door operation and communication systems.


The battery systems will be manufactured in Saft’s factories in Sweden and France. Deliveries have already begun and the order is scheduled for completion in 2019.


The metro system is being built in two phases. The first phase involves the construction of three out of four lines and 37 stations, which are expected to be open to the public by 2020. The future phases involve the introduction of an additional line and the expansion of the existing ones, with more than 60 additional stations. The first expansion will be completed by 2026.


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