A World’s First On December 16, a fully solar-powered train took a short but groundbreaking journey in New South Wales, Australia. The company behind the train, the Byron Bay Railroad Company , brought the vintage passenger vehicle back to life to prove that solar power can actually work for transportation. Click to View Full Infographic The train runs solely on clean energy — solar panels on its roof and at pit stops provide all of the power needed for its 3 kilometer (1.9 miles) route. The train originally had two diesel engines, of which one has been replaced by batteries and an electric motor. The other will serve as a backup in case of emergency, although the train will keep going under a cloudy sky, too, thanks to a 77kWh battery. The fully solar-powered train holds 100 seated passengers, with room for others to stand, and completes one round-trip journey every hour. Short Distance, Big Implications Powering cars with solar energy is a challenge that engineers have yet to nail . Cars require a lot of energy, zig-zag between sunlight and shadow, and start and stop all the time. Small vehicles are heavy, and the surface suitable for installing […]


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