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French rail operator to develop solar systems capable of operating at 9,000 V – pv magazine International


The SNCF Réseau and the National Institute for Solar Energy (INES) of France have agreed to cooperate in the development of renewable projects. They aim to build PV systems that can supply continuous electricity at voltages of 3 kV, 6 kV, and 9 kV, while optimizing installation costs – especially in terms of cabling, operation, and maintenance .

From pv magazine in France

The French railway operator SNCF Réseau and INES have entered into a collaboration to develop photovoltaic systems capable of operating at voltages up to 9,000 V. They aim to facilitate the use of renewable energy through railway infrastructure, to reduce energy loss and optimize network costs.

The partnership will create solar-based technical solutions to provide continuous power at 3 kV, 6 kV, and 9 kV, while optimizing installation costs, especially regarding cables, operation, and maintenance. Both sides also aim to ensure that these technologies have lifespans broadly equivalent to conventional photovoltaic systems.

Currently, the market does not offer panels for voltages above 1,500 V. Therefore INES will advise the SNCF Réseau to develop PV panels with a voltage of 3,000 V.

INES installed a 3,000 V experimental plant as part of the European H2020 Tigon project. The system will integrate photovoltaics and power electronics. It also has a multi-microgrid infrastructure to test different system configurations involving PV modules, batteries, inverters, and fuel generators.

The medium-voltage direct current (MVDC) modules will be connected to the microgrid through innovative converters. It will serve as a showcase to efficiently increase PV production, while connecting these assets within the MVDC network, said both sides.

In addition, the MVDC microgrid will be connected to the main grid through a solid-state transformer (SST), making the entire system smarter and more digital. It will include an energy management system specially designed for the AC/DC hybrid network, as well as a decision support system to improve the efficiency and reliability of the entire network.

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