BlackfriarsLocated in central London, the new railroad bridge ‘Blackfriars’ which spans the River Thames in central London officially became last week the largest solar bridge in the world.

During the inauguration, passengers who passed through the station ‘Blackfriars’ on the morning of February 22, had the right to a free hot drink. Project proponents then drew attention to the fact that the bridge produced enough energy to heat the equivalent of 80,000 cups of tea per day.

British private company, Network Rail, owner and operator of the railway system of Great Britain began in 2009 to restore the ‘Blackfriars Rail Bridge’ in London and the complete modernization of the adjoining station.

The station ‘Blackfriars’ has been rebuilt on a Victorian railway bridge. A complete renovation of the bridge, with a bared to its foundations, was needed to rebuild a broader and more robust platform to support the solar roof, 250 meters long and suspended above the Thames.

In the end, the roof rail bridge comprises 4,400 solar modules Panasonic HIT Type. The installation of a total capacity of 1.1 MWp provide about 50% of the energy needs of Blackfriars station. The solar part, the design and installation of the project was entrusted to Solarcentury covers an area of ​​about 6,000 m2.

The solar panels are expected to generate 900,000 kWh of electricity each year and save around 513 tonnes of CO2, from a yield of 850 kWh / kWp, a recommendation from the Department of Energy and Climate Change English.

“We completely renovated Blackfriars station, and on a railway bridge dating from the Victorian era, that is to say, older than 125 years! We thus create a reference station for the city, incorporating clean technologies of the XXI century as the sun, and which could serve as a reference to Network Rail in its efforts to modernize the network through the integration of more sustainable “technologies had explained at the time Paul Byrne, head of the project at Blackfriars Network Rail.

This project is part of the Thameslink program, with a budget of 6.5 billion euros and aims to improve public transport in the capital. It is part of a broader process of improving the line connecting the cities of Bedford and Brighton (“Thameslink route”) through the center of London.

Users, customers of First Capital Connect, will benefit from longer trains and improved on this online service with a frequency equivalent to the subway trains as they run every 2-3 minutes in the center of London peak.

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