New concept: photovoltaic & rail transit? Jul 09, 2024

New concept: photovoltaic & rail transit?

Researchers from Germany's Fraunhofer ISE institute are field testing a new module concept "to be integrated into soundproof walls next to roads or railways" so that it can be applied to soundproof walls of new railways (or highways), Renovations and additional projects, etc., this will be a cost-effective design method and a new power generation solution.

The research, called PVwins, began in 2020 and has developed five different integrated photovoltaic solutions that are now in the outdoor field testing phase. The team investigated the design, prototyping, manufacturing, and economic potential. and marketability. Will be used in acoustic walls and located in high traffic road and railway areas.

The collaborative project will result in solutions that require no additional sound-absorbing elements and only use photovoltaic panels to create soundproof walls.

As listed in the figure below, from left to right.

  • A combined solution with modules having two independent battery packs for light harvesting at the rear of the noise absorber and on the front (far left) of the same wall
  • Transparent microporous sound absorber on the front side of the module
  • Conventional photovoltaic modules installed vertically on an obstacle facing away from the road
  • Conventional photovoltaic panels mounted via brackets on top of the noise barrier, one facing east/west and the other facing south
  • New cassette-shaped photovoltaic panels for retrofitting road-facing sound absorbers and tilted photovoltaic panels

Detailed cooperation units include the national railway research organization (Deutsches Zentrum füR-Schienenverkehrsforschung des Eisenbahn Bundesamt), the Swiss photovoltaic module manufacturer (Megasol Energie), as well as the specialist in sound insulation walls and noise barriers (R.Kohlhauer GmbH), engineering and photovoltaics experts (IGRA Power GmbH), as well as the German utility company (Energiegenossenschaft Inn‐Salzach), the German Federal Highway Ministry (füR Strassenwesen).

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