Swiss company develops solar panels that are built between rail tracks

Swiss company develops solar panels that are built between rail tracks

A new business from Canton Vaud has created an innovative way to install and utilise solar panels, without using any more land. The firm, called Sun-Ways, focuses on creating “carpets” of solar panels on existing railway tracks.

Company wants to carry out a test on Swiss railways 

Sun-Ways say that they are able to produce enough energy to power 400 households from just 10 kilometres of railway track. Given that Switzerland has 7.000 kilometres of railway lines, there could be huge potential if the invention is found to be as efficient as hoped. 

“It would thus be possible to produce 1 terawatt hour of solar electricity, i.e. 30 percent of all current solar production in Switzerland", Joseph Scuderi, founder of Sun-Ways, told 20 Minuten. So far, there is no comment from the major railway firms about how they would go about integrating the tech.

However, after having developed their product, Sun-Ways is now looking to test their on-track solar panels on Swiss railways in Val-de-Travers. The company is working alongside authorities controlling public transport in Neuchâtel and will hopefully be able to start testing in the spring.

Video: Joseph Scuderi / YouTube

Switzerland ambitious about green energy

The invention comes as many people living in Switzerland have seen the costs of their utility bills skyrocket. At the same time, many have called on the Swiss government to find new ways of powering the country as Switzerland (and Europe more widely) starts to move away from Russian oil and gas. 

Wind power, created using wind turbines, has proven controversial in many Swiss cantons, with lots of people opposing the turbines by slating them as “eyesores”, but studies by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office show the population are less critical of solar power. The new method of installation pioneered by Sun-Ways could therefore prove popular with the Swiss population.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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