Solar tunnel powers part of Paris-Amsterdam train line

Jun 06, 2011
Workers install solar panels for the Hybrid solar lighting (HSL) tunnel in Brasschaat, Belgium in 2010. High-speed international trains linking Paris and Amsterdam became the first in Europe to use electricity generated by solar panels installed in a tunnel on the line.

High-speed international trains linking Paris and Amsterdam as of Monday became the first in Europe to use electricity generated by solar panels installed in a tunnel on the line.

At a cost of 15.6 million euros, project managers say the 3.6-kilometre tunnel crossing Antwerp, in northern Belgium, is fitted with 16,000 covering 50,000 square metres, roughly eight football pitches.

The panels produce 3,300 per hour of electricity, or the average annual consumption of nearly 1,000 families.

The first "green train" left Antwerp on Monday for the Dutch border. While it was filled as usual with commuters and students, for a dozen or so kilometres, its engines plugged into the solar energy source fitted along the line.

The electricity produced feeds into the line's infrastructure, for lighting, signals and in-train power points, said Frederic Sacre, spokesman for Infrabel, which runs the rail network.

"By using electricity generated on-site, we eliminate and transport costs," said Steven De Tollenaere, head of project developers Enfinity, which leans on state subsidies backing that meets clean climate goals.

The company hopes the project will allow it to develop new installations in the United States and other parts of the world, citing train hangars as ideal sites for such charging points in the future.

Explore further: Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Californians bask in solar energy

Jan 04, 2007

Soaring energy costs, environmental consciousness and financial incentives have combined to make solar panels part of the California housing landscape.

Germany to cut solar subsidies to households

Jan 20, 2011

Germany plans to slash subsidies paid to households generating electricity with their own solar panels by up to 15 percent, and six months earlier than planned, the government said Thursday.

Italy to host Europe's biggest solar plant: company

Mar 11, 2010

Europe's most powerful solar power plant is set to start operations in Italy later this year, the US company building the installation on an area as large as 120 football pitches said on Thursday.

Solar power could provide 10% of US energy: report

Mar 10, 2010

The United States could source 10 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2030, a report said Tuesday, winning support from a US lawmaker who wants to boost the number of US solar panels.

Recommended for you

Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

16 hours ago

Long thought a thing of the future, electric cars are becoming mainstream. Sales in the United States of plug-in, electric vehicles nearly doubled last year. Credible forecasts see the number rising within ...

Building a better battery

18 hours ago

Imagine an electric car with the range of a Tesla Model S - 265 miles - but at one-fifth the $70,000 price of the luxury sedan. Or a battery able to provide many times more energy than today's technology ...

Researchers find way to turn sawdust into gasoline

22 hours ago

Researchers at KU Leuven's Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for gasoline. Using a new chemical process, they were able to convert the cellulose ...

Nanodot team aims to charge phones in less than a minute

Nov 25, 2014

The world of smartphone users, which is a very large base indeed, is ripe for better battery solutions and an Israel-based company has an attractive solution in store, in the form of nanodot batteries that ...

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

exBrit
5 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2011
Once again, appalling editing, this time in the title sentence.
The solar panels are on the tunnel, not in the tunnel.
am_Unition
5 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2011
Once again, appalling editing, this time in the title sentence.
The solar panels are on the tunnel, not in the tunnel.


You know what? Thank you.

Even the bolded introduction biffed that up.
Noumenal
4.5 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2011
Yup, I too was left scratching in my head.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (4) Jun 06, 2011
50,000 square meters of panels could produce about 7.5 megawatts of power peak.

"The panels produce 3,300 megawatts per hour of electricity, or the average annual consumption of nearly 1,000 families." = Article

Above the article author confuses power (watts) with energy.

gwrede
1 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2011
I really, really wish that we could give separate rankings for subject matter and for editorial work.

It's hard to imagine PhysOrg bosses and owners wouldn't be interested in the latter! And it wouldn't cost anything either.
Justsayin
1 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2011
"generated by solar panels installed in a tunnel on the line."

Appalling editing known about since 06-06-11 and still not corrected as of 06-09-11

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.