The Netherlands are known for its picture perfect landscapes, colorful tulip fields, and of course those wooden windmills. In 1421, the windmill was first erected in Holland to help drain the country after ravaging floods, but were put to work throughout the centuries producing oil, paper, and even ships. It's no surprise that their love of wind is being used in the 21st century to power 100% of its passenger trains.
Earlier this month, railway operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen announced that as of January 1st of this year, every one of its electric trains was running on wind power. Partnered with energy company Eneco, this historic feat was accomplished a year ahead of schedule, and no one is complaining. Every day the passenger rail carries 600,000 people, using about 1.2 billion kWh of electricity a year, that's enough energy to power all of the households in Amsterdam!
The wind power is being supplied by newly built wind farms across the Netherlands, Belgium and Finland. According to Eneco, one wind turbine running for one hour can power a train for 124 miles. The wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into power, which is being used to fuel about 5,500 train trips a day.
Once the power is harvested, the electricity is then supplied to a grid. Railways then transfer the power to overhead wires that connect to the train to power lights, heat and air conditioning, as well as the traction motors, which turn the train's wheels and eliminate the need for fossil fuels.
Data loggers are often used to simplify monitoring and recording energy production and usage. MadgeTech offers data loggers designed specifically for alternative energy sources, including wind power. To view the entire line of data loggers for energy monitoring, click here.
Our personal vehicles are a major contributor to global warming, with every gallon of gas burned said to release 24 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In an effort to take fossil fuel burning vehicles off the road, European carmaker SEAT is working with Aqualia, a Spanish water management company to turn human waste into a useable fuel.
To eat or not to eat corned beef? It's a conflict that arises every few years for Catholics when St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday during the Lenten season. Usually, Catholics are prohibited from eating meat on Fridays during Lent as an act of penitence, but this year, bishops in more than 80 dioceses are making an exception.
It's an exciting time of the year for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as they head in to the first round of the NCAA tournament, but the University is also making news for its aggressive sustainability strategy. Notre Dame is currently constructing its third and final phase of installing geothermal technology across campus to harness the Earth's energy.