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Source: Twitter

Australia's Solar-Powered Train Has Successful Debut

By Brian Spaen

Back in October, the Byron Bay Railroad Company announced that a fully solar-powered train would be launching in Australia by Christmas. The service officially launched on December 16th, and the train now makes short round-trip destinations. While it may not be a full revolution in the transportation industry, it shows that solar generation could be a viable source in its future.

The new solar-powered passenger vehicle completes a near two-mile trek in New South Wales, Australia, every hour. Up to 100 people are able to sit comfortably in the train and there’s additional standing room for more passengers. It only uses solar power generated from the panels on the roof and pit stops to supply it with additional energy.

At the top of the train sits a 6.5-kilowatt flexible solar array. This provides a uniform look on the rooftop and different angles for the sun to reach these panels. Pit stops will have a capacity of 30 kilowatts that it can funnel to the train. It can also recover a quarter of the energy it spends with the installed regenerative braking system.