Originally built during the age of steam back in 1886, Blackfriars Bridge in the heart of London that spans the River Thames is getting latest hi-tech treatment. The Victorian rail bridge will soon become the world largest solar array bridge as well as biggest solar array in London.

Blackfriars Bridge bridge will be the home of over 6,000 square meters or about 64,583 sq. ft solar panels on the roof, stretching two miles of rail tunnel, capable to generate half of the electricity demand of Blackfriars’ railway station.

The 6,000 square meters solar panels on the rail tunnel’s roof top is capable to provide power to signaling, lighting, and heating of railway stations, and also to some of the trains using the Belgian rail network.

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With over 4,400 high-efficiency HIT photovoltaic panels installed on its newly-built roof by London-based Solarcentury and engineers from Jacobs, Blackfriats Station’s solar panels project is currently under the Network Rail Thameslink program upgrade funded by Department for Transport’s safety and environment fund, and is aiming to have longer trains, offering more seats for commuters as well as to generate over 900,000 kWh of electricity every year.

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The project is going to collaborate other alternative energy measures, including rain energy harvester and sun pipes for natural lighting.

[ Source: Sanyo HIT ; Solar Century ]