Challenge

The railroad arrived in Fort Worth, Texas in 1876. Due to centuries-long railroad development through the city, today, Fort Worth is one of the busiest and most important train thoroughfares in Texas. With more railroad gate crossings at signalized intersections per capita than any other city its size in Texas, safety has always been a primary concern. It is essential that the intersections with at least one leg crossing over the train tracks be equipped with a reliable, safe, and fast charging battery backup system in case there is a power outage. 

When the city’s Transportation and Public Works Department began its Railroad Safety Program in conjunction with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), upgrading mission-critical signal and battery backup systems at the same time made sense. 

Solution

ZincFive’s UPStealth 2 battery backup system proved to be the right system to solve the challenge. Victor Quijada, Traffic Systems Tech II, Fort Worth Transportation and Public Works, elaborates: “ZincFive’s UPStealth 2 system fits into our existing cabinets and keeps the lights flashing while providing the 4 to 5 hour run time we require after an outage, even with all the other equipment in our cabinets that need power, like detection, modems, cameras, etc.”

The UPStealth 2 battery backup system also proved to be fast – very fast. According to Quijada, during the first installation, ZincFive’s eco-friendly nickel-zinc batteries that power the UPStealth 2 system kicked on faster than the controllers could react. “It was incredible how fast it kicked in. We tweaked the timing just a bit and it worked perfectly,” he said. “Without any glitches, we felt really good Fort Worth citizens could keep going safely about their day.” 

Results

Quijada said the biggest surprise was how easy the UPStealth 2 system was to install. The battery panels were light and easily fit into the ITS cabinet without the need to install an additional piggy back BBU cabinet. Since these UPS installations were so easy, he felt that he could install 3 or 4 a day without any additional help.

The system is also helping save the city money with its user interface that supports browser-based remote system management, email messaging, and remote update capabilities. Quijada said he and his fellow technicians really like that they can easily access the system’s dashboard and logs from just about anywhere, that, together, show a complete picture of what happened during an outage. 

“Now, we access the dashboard and the logs, which show us the complete picture, like when the power went out, when the backup took over, which batteries are offline… so we have a really good idea of what needs to be done before we head out,” he said. “And we can take the time to look at the data because we know the system is keeping these intersections in safe mode [flashing lights].”

The UPStealth 2 system also proved it provides superior reliability with no thermal runaway when damaged. When one of Quijada’s traffic cabinets was hit with 9 bullets, the UPStealth 2 system acted as a shield, completely protecting the other equipment inside from being damaged. And, although all the bullets directly hit ZincFive’s batteries, there was no thermal runaway, so the intersection was able to continue to operate normally.

Now that’s what we call bulletproof-like reliability.

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PRODUCT

UPStealth® 2

Our patented nickel-zinc battery technology offers low-maintenance, long-life power designed for intelligent transportation systems. UPStealth® is the only uninterruptible power supply for intelligent transportation systems and signalized intersections with safe, sustainable technology built to endure harsh weather.

  • Cabinet optimization
  • No periodic maintenance
  • No hazardous materials
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