Maxwell Technologies ultracapacitors power London cable car systems


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Ultracapacitors for efficient energy management system

Gondola's and transport powered by capacitors

Maxwell Technologies is supplying ultracapacitors for a high-efficiency energy management system that powers multimedia entertainment, lighting and air ventilation systems in the Emirates Air Line, the UK's first urban cable car, carrying passengers across London's River Thames. The new Emirates Air Line cable car system, operated by Transport for London, consists of 34 10-passenger cabins manufactured by CWA Constructions SA of Switzerland. Emirates Air Line can carry up to 2,500 passengers per hour in each direction and transported some 20,000 passengers a day during the London 2012 Games for the trip connecting North and South London from terminals located at the Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks. The roof-mounted ultracapacitor modules are recharged by charging systems located in stations at each end of the Emirates Air Line. Unlike batteries, producing and storing electrical energy by a chemical reaction, Maxwell ultracapacitors store this in an electrical field within the ultracapacitor cells. This electrostatic energy storage mechanism enables ultracapacitors to charge and discharge in as little as fractions of a second, performing normally over a broad temperature range (-40° C to +65° C) and operating reliably for up to one million or more charge/discharge cycles. "A battery-based system to power all of the entertainment and passenger comfort features the operator wanted for these cabins would have been much too heavy to be practical," said Tobias Haarmann, CWA's Head of Marketing. "Ultracapacitors also require little or no maintenance and can be expected to last for a decade or more before needing replacement, making them a very cost-effective for the operator." "This is yet another example of how innovative companies such as CWA are finding new ways to take advantage of ultracapacitors' efficiency, durability, light weight and other differentiating characteristics," said David Schramm, Maxwell's president and CEO. Maxwell Technologies CWA Constructions SA