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Trains with Solar power
Aug 24 2011 (20:25)
News Entry# 35382 Sun-powered high speed rail rises in Europe
Posted by: rdb*^ Added by: rdb*^ Aug 24 2011 (20:26)
A high speed rail line between Paris and Amsterdam now runs partially on the sun. Trains gliding along the E19 highway in Belgium at about 180 miles per hour are drawing power from 2.1 miles of solar panels.Atop a train tunnel, Enfinity’s photovoltaic panels cover more than 500,000 square feet. The tunnel runs through the ancient Peerds Forest with the original purpose of preventing trees from falling on the tracks. As of yesterday, it took on another job. The tunnel’s 3.3-megawatt solar roof now generates electricity for the railway’s trains, signals and lights and helps heat stations, such as the nearby Antwerp Central Station.Trains with solar roofs appeared in Italy in 2005, but these panels only kept the carriage’s air conditioners running. Belgium’s $22.6 million (15.6 million euros) installation can reportedly power the equivalent of 4,000 train trips on Infrabel’s HSL4 line and cut the railway’s carbon dioxide input by 2,400...
Aug 24 2011 (07:54)
News Entry# 35274 Solar power for trains dawns in rainy Belgium
Posted by: rdb*^ Added by: rdb*^ Aug 24 2011 (09:01)
Trains already have a reputation for being a very clean form of transport but Belgian commuters can now boast railways which are partially powered by solar energy.A public-private consortium consisting of Belgian rail management company Infrabel and solar developer Enfinity has installed 16,000 solar panels on the roof of a 3.4 km (2.1 miles) long tunnel between Antwerp and the Dutch border, creating enough electricity to power 4,000 trains a year.The unique feature of the project, which is designed to produce 3.3 gigawatt hours a year, is that the energy produced does not flow into the national grid but is used directly by the trains.Enfinity says that by cutting out the middle man, the grid operator, it can offer electricity about 30 percent cheaper.Infrabel benefits from being able to sell cheaper electricity to its customers, which include the Belgian railways and private high-speed operator Thalys.Enfinity and the other investors, such as...