Turntide Technologies, the North East-based developer of breakthrough electrification and sustainable operations technologies, has been named the preferred supplier for the design and supply of traction battery systems for Hitachi’s intercity battery train trial.
The North East England partnership is working towards a UK trial to demonstrate how its battery technology can simultaneously reduce emissions and fuel costs. This pioneering technology stands to make the UK a global leader in intercity battery train technology.
This agreement and the potential mass production of the Hitachi battery management system would lead to high-quality production line jobs at Turntide’s design and production facilities in Gateshead, Sunderland, and Cramlington in the North East and represents Hitachi’s commitment to engaging, where possible, with local suppliers in close proximity to its County Durham manufacturing base.
It also represents a significant development in building a supply chain cluster in the region to support the electrification of transport outside of passenger cars, which can support UK and international decarbonisation ambitions.
In addition to being named as a preferred supplier, Turntide received the Hitachi Rail Partner Award for Sustainability. The award recognises Turntide’s outstanding work developing and manufacturing the battery system prototype for Hitachi’s reduced emissions bi-mode and tri-mode trains.
Installing battery technology on a Hitachi intercity train will help cut fuel usage and reduce carbon emissions by at least 20%. In some circumstances battery and hybrid trains could provide a much faster, more affordable alternative to electrification.
Hybrid trains can switch seamlessly between diesel power, overhead electric power, or battery power. They can run on battery power alone, effectively bridging between electrified stretches of track or when entering/exiting stations.
“The innovation and ingenuity that Turntide brings to electrification is exemplary, and we are delighted to name the company as our preferred battery systems supplier,” said Jim Brewin, chief director for UK & Ireland, Hitachi Rail.
“We also recognise the importance of building local supply chains, which makes this appointment even more significant and highlights the role North East England has to play in electrification.”
He added: “The electric car industry has already proved battery solutions. The real challenge has been to scale this technology designed to power a two-tonne vehicle for a 200 to 400-tonne train. It’s not as simple as just making the battery bigger. Hitachi Rail’s engineers, in collaboration with Turntide, have been working for more than a year on creating the necessary algorithms and software to achieve this upscaling.”
Mark Cox, general manager of Turntide’s transport business unit, said, “Recognition for the development of this battery system speaks to the level of collaboration and expertise the Turntide team brings to complex electrification projects. We possess the advanced skills necessary to assist clients such as Hitachi Rail in overcoming the technical challenges associated with electrifying passenger rail cars and decreasing carbon emissions in the railway sector.”
Turntide’s transport division offers a suite of high-performance electrification components, including batteries, inverters, fans, pumps, and EV motors.
Image credit: Hitachi Rail