Safety is vital for all transportation systems and our batteries play an important role in supplying emergency lighting for locomotives as well as powering railroad crossing warning lights. If electrical power fails, our batteries are there to provide the back-up power required to keep passengers safe.
Every day, there are more than 2,200 trains operating across the US carrying more than 260 million passengers annually. The railroad industry has very specific battery requirements. The components used must be made with safety in mind, only high-quality metals, transparent cases to enable the inspection of internal working parts and of course all parts must be flame retardant. The batteries used in trains travel through various geographic locations and must be able to endure large variances in temperatures and weather conditions as well as be strong enough to endure the shock and vibration from the tracks riding over many different surfaces.
HOPPECKE’s batteries can deliver with high energy density that leads to space-saving design which allows optimal use of the installation area. They can be used in various applications, including on-board power or as a starter battery, although more maintenance may be required with these uses.
The railroad industry can save money by extending the life of their batteries with a refurbishment every 5 years instead of replacing them with a completely new set of batteries. HOPPECKE has been performing this service to many of the largest railroads in the US for many years. The process consists of inspecting the returned batteries, replacing any cells not at required capacity as well as replacing any needed critical electronic components, (screws, connectors, cables, switches) as well as mechanical components (rib plates, insulation, etc). The battery tray is cleaned, re-worked if needed and can be re-used. Our reliable, experienced staff and engineers and assemblers than clean all of the remaining cells and components and re-assembles them into the trays. The batteries are then tested to be sure that they are functioning at the proper levels. Then we send back the “like-new” batteries that ensure a safe and environmentally friendly ride for passengers and added savings for the line.
What happens to the batteries that need to be replaced?
At HOPPECKE, we are aware of our responsibility towards the environment and society. Efficient resource management has been an integral part of HOPPECKE’s corporate principles for decades.We feel responsible for the careful management of the resources entrusted to us – people, the environment and our natural resources.
In North America, HOPPECKE partners with recyclers to ensure the safe recycling of all hazardous materials and the re-use of any other recyclable materials. But for more than 55 years, HOPPECKE has been operating its own company smelter in Europe with an ultra-modern facility that is continuously being expanded. The lead acid batteries are recycled in this plant located in Brilon, Germany were almost 100% of the lead contained in the batteries are recycled. Other components are also recycled; metal is fed back into metal recycling, the acid is used in the chemical industry, slag is used for backfilling and the polypropylene is recycled and re-granulated for use by the plastic industry. Hoppecke even uses the recycled lead in its own production facility to be even more environmentally active.
HOPPECKE’s return and recycling system for batteries provides a substantial contribution towards protecting the earth’s natural resources for use by future generations. Furthermore, we are actively drawing up new recycling standards and directives.HOPPECKE does not only set standards in relation to recycling, sustainability starts for us at the product development stage. Our products and services also make an important contribution towards achieving climate change objectives.
Give HOPPECKE North America a call at 856.616.0032 or by email at cst(at)hoppecke-us.com to find out more about our Battery Refurbishment Program to assist you in saving money and helping the environment.