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Electric Train Power Boosted By New Charging Algorithm

A new charging algorithm could extend battery life for the first all-electric, battery-powered locomotive in the US.

Batteries for Norfolk Southern Railway No. 999, just like automotive batteries, are rechargeable until they eventually die. A leading cause of damage and death in lead-acid batteries is sulfation, a degradation of the battery caused by frequent charging and discharging that creates an accumulation of lead sulfate.

In a recent study, the researchers looked for ways to improve regular battery management practices. The methods had to be nondestructive, simple, and cheap—using as few sensors, electronics, and supporting hardware as possible while still remaining effective at identifying and decreasing sulfation.


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