We’ve told you about solar-powered boats, planes, airships and cars before, and now we bring you the news that UK trains could be the next mode of transport to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels is trains.
The news comes from the Department for Transport, which has just carried out a study into battery-powered trains, and concluded that we already have the technology for this to be a reality. Using an eight tonne battery, the DfT says that intercity trains would be able to travel 600 miles at a time, using a super capacitor or flywheel for the varying power requirements of the route.
While the battery price is currently too high (£500,000 per battery) to make this a realistic solution, rising diesel prices, improving technologies, and environmental considerations may one day see it become a reality.
This is not the first train system to look at using less fossil fuels. In 2011, the train line from Paris to Amsterdam introduced a 2.1-mile solar-powered train tunnel, featuring 16,000 solar PV panels. In total, the panels provide 3,300 MWh – enough electricity to run 4,000 trains (or 1,000 UK homes for a year).
Read the full UK battery-powered train story (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/03/battery-powered-intercity-trains-possible-study)
Read the full solar PV tunnel story (http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/07/europes-first-solar-powered-train-tunnel-goes-live-on-belgian-h/)