Engineers from the Imperial College of London offered to place solar panels along the railway tracks and feed the received electricity directly into the locomotive system of trains, bypassing the power grid. In their opinion, this will help to avoid peak loads on the network and not to use the reserves of regions where there is a shortage of electricity.
Professor Tim Green, one of the authors of the project, explained that in the UK there are many places in which it is difficult to access the power grid, but it is easy and quick to arrange the solar panels, thus unloading the substations of small settlements experiencing difficulties with the accumulation of surplus electricity . If you supply the extracted solar electricity directly to the trains, this will avoid the shortage of electricity on the ground, supplying the high-speed electric trains with the extracted solar energy.
The advantages of the project are obvious: solar panels can produce a constant current from 600 to 800 volts, railways in rural areas also operate at a constant current of 750 volts, in addition, substations outside the city are located along the railway lines approximately every three kilometers. Next to them is very convenient to place solar panels.
Now the engineers deal with some subtleties and inevitably arising questions, but they hope that they will be able to help specialists of the company, which is engaged in servicing power lines on the country's railways. In addition, the project caused a keen interest of the "green", who also offered their help.
It is expected that the first electric train, fueled by solar panels produced by electricity, will be launched before the end of 2018.