From pv magazine Germany
PV plant owners that want to feed solar power into railway networks face a technical challenge. Railway networks operate at a frequency of 16.7 Hz, but public power grids – for which common inverters are designed – operate at 50 Hz.
In order to address this issue, Germany-based Smart Railway Technology has conceived an inverter that is designed to feed directly into a railway's 16.7 Hz power grid, without costly detours via conventional three-phase 50 Hz networks.
The new product, PV2Rail, features a rated output of 100 kVA. It reportedly meets all relevant norms and standards, which the manufacturer said guarantees that the device can be reliably integrated into existing infrastructure.
Smart Railway Technology's main business is the production of on-board power converters for international rail transport. The company once belonged to German inverter producer SMA Solar Technology, but was later taken over by Beijing Dinghan Technology Group in China.
In 2019, 10:10 – a UK-based climate change charity – developed a demonstrator solar array in partnership with Community Energy South and rail operator Network Rail. According to the developers, a solar plant could theoretically be connected to any traction substation and supply from 5 km to 10 km of track in either direction.
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