Swiss Company May Develop Solar Panels Along Train Tracks


Swiss company Sun-Ways is revolutionizing the way solar panels are installed by using train tracks as “carpets.” Pending authorization from the Federal Office of Transportation, Sun-Ways will install detachable solar panel systems near the Buttes station. A specially designed train will run along the tracks, unfolding pre-assembled panels in its path. The system uses photovoltaic cells to produce electricity, which will go into the electricity grid and supply energy to homes. Sun-Ways estimates that the national rail network could produce one Terawatt-hour (TWh) of solar energy per year, which is equivalent to approximately 2% of Switzerland’s total energy consumption. The company hopes to expand into Germany, Austria, and Italy, eventually equipping 50% of the world’s railways with its system. Despite concerns about microcracks, fire risks, and driver distraction, Sun-Ways claims its panels are stronger than conventional ones and could be fitted with an anti-glare filter. The company is also working on a system to melt ice and snow that could potentially impede the utility of horizontal panels.

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