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: Environmentally compatible organic solar cells

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

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

3 hours ago

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US

3 hours ago

The White House Thursday announced a series of measures aimed at increasing solar energy production in the United States, particularly by encouraging the installation of solar panels in public spaces.

Tailored approach key to cookstove uptake

3 hours ago

Worldwide, programs aiming to give safe, efficient cooking stoves to people in developing countries haven't had complete success—and local research has looked into why.

Wireless power transfer achieved at five-meter distance

4 hours ago

The way electronic devices receive their power has changed tremendously over the past few decades, from wired to non-wired. Users today enjoy all kinds of wireless electronic gadgets including cell phones, ...

Environmentally compatible organic solar cells

Apr 16, 2014

Environmentally compatible production methods for organic solar cells from novel materials are in the focus of "MatHero". The new project coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) aims at making ...

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

More news stories

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Is Parkinson's an autoimmune disease?

The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson's disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person's own immune system, similar to the ...