The system is being run as a pilot that seeks to determine if adding renewable generation directly to the rail lines is a feasible way to directly power or offset the energy used by the trains themselves.
The pilot installation is comprised of 7,000 cubic meters of solar panels with a generating capacity of 1,100 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. That’s the same amount of energy used by 200 trips from Vienna to Salzburg, eliminating 400 tonnes of CO2 emissions, not to mention the transmission savings of producing the power exactly where it’s needed.
The addition of solar generation directly to the power lines used by the trains was made possible by the invention of a new inverter that allows the solar power to be directly injected into the train’s power lines. With this setup, the solar system can run in parallel to the track and be used much closer to the point of generation. As a special bonus, the system is all kinds of connected and can analyze the performance of the system over time.