Zhuzhou Locomotive Develops Low-Emission Tram, Maglev as China Promotes Green Transit
Yicai Global
/SOURCE : Yicai
Zhuzhou Locomotive Develops Low-Emission Tram, Maglev as China Promotes Green Transit

(Yicai Global) Sept. 22 -- CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co., China's biggest electric locomotive maker, has this year launched two low-carbon and intelligent transport products as China's promotes low-emission vehicles.

The Zhuzhou-based company developed the world's first light-rail train as early as 2012 by applying energy storage technology in super capacitors for the first time in the world. This time the company has developed fast-charging low-floor trams and China's first medium- and low- speed maglev passenger train.

The super-capacitor rail transit electric train is a streetcar that does not use overhead power cables and is the first of its kind in China. It can reach speeds of 70 kilometers per hour and can carry up to 380 passengers.

Its Farah Super Capacitor 9500 can fully charge in 30 seconds and power the trolley car for three to five kilometers, according to Mr. Suo Jianguo, chief engineer at CRRC Zhuzhou. In addition, 85 percent of the streetcar's braking energy is recycled and stored in the super capacitor. Its super-fast charging and discharging make the streetcar ideal for mass transport.

The trolley's entrance is just 320 millimeters high, allowing passengers to get on and off easily with no need for platforms. The technology of the low-floor train had been monopolized by European countries and the United States. It makes it easier for passengers to get on or off, and at the same time significantly reduces investment on station building since it requires no additional stairs. It is said that the cost of building a streetcar system is 80 percent cheaper than constructing a subway. It will make a useful supplement to mass transit networks in major cities as well as a main public transport facility in smaller urban areas.

In May, the first medium- and low-speed maglev passenger train designed by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co. was put into operation in a 18.55 kilometers long track running from the Changsha High-speed Railway Station to the Changsha Huanghua International Airport.

The medium- to low-speed maglev train looks the same as a high-speed train. But in fact, with several suspension controllers distributed underneath, there is a gap of 8 to 10 millimeters between the train and the track. The maglev train has several advantages, compared with light rail, subway and other forms of rail transport, such as low noise levels, high grade ability and low cost.

Because the maglev train is suspended above the rail track and does not have wheels that get in the way, it is able to climb slopes and cross low-lying barriers on the ground. A maglev train can climb to a height of a third floor. The average light rail train, on the other hand, can only climb several meters over a long distance.

The running noise of the medium- and low- speed maglev train is about 62 dB, lower than the noise level of normal talking making it a good example of 'extra-quiet transport.' The train also emits low radiation. The radiation value of the Changsha maglev train is less than that of an induction cooker when measured from one meter away and less than half of a microwave oven's radiation when measured from three meters away, Mr. Zhang Kunlun, head of the medium- and low- speed maglev train test group, said.

The Changsha maglev track cost CNY230 million (USD34.5 million) per kilometer. The cost for conventional subway construction can reach CNY700 million per kilometer.

Chinese cities are launching low-carbon transport campaigns that champion streetcars as vehicle emissions now make up 30 percent of the country's total gaseous emissions amid increasing levels of private car ownership.

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