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.
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