With more than 4,400 photovoltaic panels with total capacity of 1.103 MW, the new London Underground Station “Blackfriars” currently under construction on a bridge over the Thames is becoming the largest solar bridge in the world.
The Victorian bridge, built in 1886, serves as the foundation for the new Blackfriars station. The latter is being upgraded by the company Network Rail Limited in order to accommodate more passengers and improve rail service. A new roof, added to the original historic structure, integrate over 6,000 m2 of photovoltaic panels, creating the largest solar installation in London.
Solar panels produce about 900,000 kWh of electricity annually, providing 50% of the energy required to operate the station and reducing CO2 emissions by about 511 tons per year. In addition to solar panels, other tools of energy saving will be used as recovery systems and rainwater pipes solar power station in natural light.
The modernization of Blackfriars station is part of the “Thameslink” of Network Rail, which will circulate longer trains on the route from Bedford to Brighton via London. Once completed, up to 24 trains per hour will run on the party serving central London, offering more seats available to users and forth.
“Our ambition to create a station spacious, modern and we are developing a vastly improved rail service for passengers, while putting in place the largest solar installation to London Blackfriars station a more respectful of the environment” Ms Lindsay Vamplew, Blackfriars Network Rail Project Director, commented.
“The Victorian Blackfriars railway bridge is part of the history of our railway network. Built during the era of the steam train, we are modernizing dramatically with solar energy technologies of the XXI century to create a reference station for the city. ”
The London company in charge of solar engineering and installation is Solarcentury, who worked with Jacobs Engineering to integrate solar photovoltaic architecture of the resort. The solar modules with high-performance are manufactured by Sanyo Electric, a subsidiary of Panasonic.
“The buildings and bridges of different stations are an integral part of our urban landscape and it is wonderful to see that in the future, the bridge will generate renewable energy on a daily basis. Although most people know, several hundred buildings in the capital are powered by electricity generated by solar energy as investments in this technology continues to grow. Make people realize that solar energy works is a vital step in the development of clean energy for the future, “said Derry Newman, CEO of Solarcentury.