TÜV Rheinland assessing potential for PV-powered railways

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
The study is to last for 14 months and will focus on three specific work packages. Image: TÜV Rheinland.

Technical advisory TÜV Rheinland has been commissioned to study the potential for solar PV to power rail infrastructure in Germany.

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

It will explore the potential for track-integrated PV modules, featuring systems installed into track beds or integrated into noise barriers alongside rails, and look to solve technical barriers such as the requirement to feed power directly into the rail system’s 15kV, single-phase overhead network.

The 14-month project will also seek to identify how much solar could increase its share of renewable energy powering the railway system.

PV experts from TÜV Rheinland will work alongside railroad technology professionals on an interdisciplinary project.

Three work packages are to be implemented, including market research into PV systems that are relevant to railroads, including work on components necessary for the direct feed-in of power.

It will progress to identify areas of Germany’s rail infrastructure that would be best suited for solar PV applications, data from which will be used to deduce expected energy yields.

Lastly, the study will assess the requirements that would be placed on installed systems from a railroad regulation perspective, as well as possible barriers and restrictions that could be placed on such systems.

“If it turns out to be possible to generate energy along the widely ramified railway electrification system and feed it in directly, thereby making better use of existing infrastructure and reducing energy losses through multiple conversion and transport, the rail mode of transport could further improve its greenhouse gas balance,” TÜV Rheinland’s rail technology expert Jürgen van der Weem, said.

Similar studies and pilot projects have been launched elsewhere. The UK government’s Department for Transport released a tranche of funding in 2019 to support trials using solar alongside transport infrastructure, building on a study launched in 2017 compiled by London’s Imperial College that found that up to 10% of the UK rail network’s entire power demand could be met by solar installed along its routes.

Read Next

January 18, 2022
Corporate funding in the global solar sector reached a ten-year high in 2021 as the industry recovered from a COVID-affected 2020, new research from Mercom Capital Group reveals.
January 12, 2022
German asset manager KGAL Investment Management has acquired a combined 50% stake in renewables developer GP Joule Projects, with the two companies intent on taking advantage of the “immense growth opportunities” of renewables across Europe, and in particular Germany.
January 11, 2022
Impax Asset Management is collaborating with clean energy financial technology provider Bullfinch Asset to invest in distributed solar generation in Germany.
January 7, 2022
Renewable energy asset manager Luxcara has reached financial close for a subsidy-free solar project in Germany that will have a capacity of at least 171MWp and supply power to Volkswagen.
January 5, 2022
Around 5.3GW of solar was installed in Germany last year, however the trade body has warned that additional barriers will need to be “torn down” if the new German coalition government’s target of 200GW of operational solar capacity by 2030 is to be met.
December 15, 2021
The European Union’s (EU) solar PV sector has navigated a year beset by supply chain disruptions and module prices hikes to post record levels of annual deployment, according to research from SolarPower Europe (SPE).

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal