TÜV Rheinland examining potential for PV-powered railways

Dec 23, 2021 01:28 PM ET
  • Technical advisory TÜV Rheinland has been commissioned to study the potential for solar PV to power rail facilities in Germany.
TÜV Rheinland examining potential for PV-powered railways
Image: TÜV Rheinland

The project, launched by the German Center for Rail Traffic Research Study at the Federal Railway Authority, will explore exactly how specific PV applications could be used to directly feed power into the rail system's grid.

It will certainly explore the capacity for track-integrated PV modules, featuring systems mounted right into track beds or incorporated into sound obstacles alongside rails, and also aim to fix technical barriers such as the need to feed power straight into the rail system's 15kV, single-phase above network.

The 14-month project will certainly also seek to recognize just how much solar could raise its share of renewable energy powering the railway system.

PV specialists from TÜV Rheinland will certainly work along with railroad technology specialists on an interdisciplinary project.

3 job packages are to be executed, including marketing research right into PV systems that relate to railroads, including work on components essential for the straight feed-in of power.

It will proceed to identify areas of Germany's rail facilities that would certainly be best suited for solar PV applications, data where will certainly be used to reason anticipated energy yields.

Last but not least, the research will certainly analyze the demands that would be put on set up systems from a railroad regulation viewpoint, as well as feasible obstacles as well as constraints that could be placed on such systems.

"If it becomes possible to generate energy along the extensively ramified railway electrification system and feed it in directly, thereby making better use existing facilities and lowering energy losses via multiple conversion as well as transport, the rail mode of transport could additionally boost its greenhouse gas equilibrium," TÜV Rheinland's rail innovation expert Jürgen van der Weem, claimed.

Similar studies as well as pilot projects have been introduced in other places. The UK federal government's Department for Transport launched a tranche of funding in 2019 to support trials making use of solar alongside transport facilities, structure on a research introduced in 2017 compiled by London's Imperial College that discovered that up to 10% of the UK rail network's whole power need could be fulfilled by solar mounted along its courses.

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