technotrans - a journey
into the heart of the desert:
sand, heat and
a cool task.

The challenge// „If a tram goes through the desert ...“ – that's how jokes used to start. But it wasn't a joke when Jochen Steinbauer called technotrans to present his request. In fact, Jochen Steinbauer, project manager at Siemens Mobility in the Turnkey Projects & Electrification division, was working on an exciting project: a catenary-free tramway system with a hybrid drive. Place of use: Doha, the capital of Qatar. Characterised by: extreme ambient conditions.

Skyline of Doha in Qatar

Challenging climatic conditions

Every year, during a period of three months, the temperature in Doha reaches 40°C and higher, while in the „coldest“ " month, it still rises to 21°C. In view of the climate in Qatar, it quickly became clear that this was not an easy task at all.

„We need a powerful, lightweight and reliable cooling system for the capacitors and batteries“, says Jochen Steinbauer when asked about the requirements. He had already dealt in detail with the problem, e.g. in terms of an effective and reliable cooling solution for the large high-performance batteries of the electric drive system of the tramways. Proper cooling is absolutely essential as the operation and service life of the batteries used in electric vehicles are highly dependent on the operating temperature.

Right from the first phone call, it became clear that there was no need for Jochen Steinbauer to work up a sweat regardless of the heat at the intended place of use when technotrans confirmed: „We are on board!“ We were absolutely sure we would find a cooling solution which would tick all the boxes.

technotrans is passionate about what they do// Everyone at technotrans was very excited to work on such a future-oriented project together with Siemens. Because: „Sustainable mobility concepts, promoting the efficient use of energy and reducing CO2 emissions are points that are very important to us, and these concepts will gain even more traction in the next few years“, says Michael Finger, spokesman of the board of technotrans SE. „We are proud to drive this topic forward as a partner of Siemens.“

»technotrans quickly gained
an excellent reputation.«

An innovative cooling system.

technotrans has developed an entirely new water cooling system for the project in Qatar. It ensures that the energy storage system will not heat up to more than 20°C even at peak ambient temperatures. However, we also took other influencing factors into consideration, e.g. drifting sand. The innovative cooling system is optimally protected against it while being extremely lightweight, as technotrans remained well below the specified maximum weight. This, in turn, leads to a reduced energy consumption of the vehicles.

The tramways in Doha are equipped with a hybrid energy storage system so that they are catenary-free. The batteries and capacitors ensure an environmentally friendly and highly efficient mobility solution. Both components are integrated in the roof the trams together with the technotrans cooling system. 19 tramways service 25 stations on a route of 11.5 km. Thanks to the battery-capacitor combination, the new model consumes 30 % less energy than comparable catenary vehicles. 


A system without findings.

According to Siemens, there were several criteria that spoke in favour of technotrans: the special know-how in energy storage cooling, ambitious, innovative development, reliable product quality - which is further supported by numerous certifications and qualifications that go far beyond what is obligatory and that have been initiated and presented proactively by technotrans. And last but not least, the worldwide service network that ensures continuous support for the tramways.

The trust placed in us by Siemens was not disappointed. On the contrary, the usual audits during the development phase look for specific problems (known as "findings"), which are then reported to the component manufacturer. Jochen Steinbauer remembers: „It was quite unusual, but there were absolutely no findings concerning the cooling system.“

technotrans battery cooling systems are now used around the world, for example in trams and buses in the USA, Brazil, Taiwan, Spain and Luxembourg.

»They know exactly
what they can do.
And then they do it.«