The world's first solar-powered funicular, a type of cable railway, has started operating between Italy's Livorno town and the Montenero sanctuary. Photovoltaic (PV) panels on buildings bordering the funicular's parking lot supply 90 per cent of the electricity drawn by funicular's year-round operation. The PV panels are connected to an electricity grid. An automatic switching system reduces the chances of the grid failure. The system uses a lead-acid battery that is capable of recharging itself using solar power ( Green Futures , March/April 2001, p21).
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