Solar (PV) Power Systems

Railroad Solar

Solar (PV) Power Systems provide a reliable and proven source of DC power by converting sunlight directly into electricity. Solar Power Systems are a good fit for rail wayside applications because they’re economical, require very little maintenance and have no ongoing fuel requirements.

Our Capabilities

Since the early 1980’s RedHawk Energy has provided nearly a thousand Solar (PV) Power Systems for the prime and backup power needs of wayside rail applications. Over the years we’ve provided reliable systems for virtually every Class I railroad, multiple regional shortlines and transit agencies in the United States and Canada. Our systems are configured for the specific geographical location and load demands of your rail application. Solar calculations and sizing is performed using the latest solar radiation data, surface meteorology data and software sizing programs.

  • 38+ Years of Experience with Solar (PV) Power Systems for Rail Applications
  • Typical Range (Rail): 50W-5kW
  • Fully Engineered, Application Specific Designs
  • Pre-Wired, Pre-Assembled Systems
  • Low Maintenance, Long Life Components (20+ Years)
  • Comprehensive Site Survey Services Available

Rail Applications

We can provide completely integrated Solar (PV) Power Systems for a variety of wayside rail applications. We’ve supplied systems for highway crossings, intermediate signals, control points, slide fences, AEI readers, hot box detectors, switch machines, broken rail detection, track circuits, telecom sites, security & surveillance systems, PTC upgrades and more!


Brochure – Railroad Solar (PV) Power Systems

RP Series Retractable Mast

Our patented RP Series Retractable Mast system is the first and only mast system of its kind to retract to ground level along the same axis for unparalleled convenience and dramatically improved safety to the installation, operation, troubleshooting and maintenance of pole mounted Solar (PV) Power Systems.

How It Works

The RP Series Retractable Mast features a movable exterior sleeve that travels up and down a fixed mast. This allows solar arrays to be mounted to the pole structure at ground level safely and conveniently. The solar arrays can then be raised to a height of 20′ along the same axis manually (hand-crank) or via a power drill. In like fashion, periodic maintenance, troubleshooting and equipment replacement can be achieved by lowering the mast to ground level.

Notable Features

  • Fail-Safe Fall Protection
    Sleeve fall protection device (brake) actuates should lifting cable/chain break to prevent sleeve from falling down pole.
  • Corrosion Resistant Direct Drive Chain
    Supports repeated raising and lowering functionality.
  • Heavy-Duty Construction
    8″ and 6″ Schedule 40 aluminum masts with retractable sleeves.
  • Multiple Guide Bearings
    Provides smooth, bind-free operation of the traveling sleeve.
  • Full Length Alignment Track
    Maintains equipment directional alignment from the lower to upper positions of the system.
  • Integrated Wiring Management
    All wiring is self-contained within the pole in a helical coiled assembly eliminating wire handling by personnel.
  • 360° Rotation of Equipment
    Welded rotational collars allow equipment to be rotated a full 360° for proper alignment.
  • Heavy-Duty Dual Drive Gear Winch
    Robust dual drive gear design gives personnel the choice of either a high gear or low gear to help facilitate faster and easier raising and lowering capabilities.
  • Fully Operational in All Positions
    Raising and lowering along the same axis as the foundation enables the RP Series mast to be fully operational in both raised and lowered positions.  In environments prone to high winds or hurricanes, the mast can be lowered to prevent damage, but all the while remain operational.
  • Optional Tilt-Down Wind Generator Adaptor
    An optional tilt-down adaptor is available for mounting a wind generator directly to the mast system for increased power availability/reliability.

Other Mounting Configurations

In addition to our patented RP Series Retractable Mast, we also offer other mounting configurations to meet virtually any budget and/or site requirement. We also offer a range of site survey services to ensure your system is designed for optimum year-round performance.

Fixed Pole

Bungalow Mount

Ground Mount/Custom

System Components / Hybrids

We can provide the balance of system components for a truly “turnkey” solution; saving you time and resources by eliminating the need to source system components from multiple vendors.


High-quality MPPT Solar Charge Controllers, Relay Drivers, DC-AC Inverters and DC-DC Converters can be provided to complete our systems and come pre-wired and pre-assembled to customer requirements. For existing customers we can also provide replacement controllers. Contact us below.


Batteries play a vital role within your wayside solar power system. Faced with the complex charge/discharge cycling patterns imposed by the unpredictability of weather, batteries with high cycling capability should be used with solar power systems. We offer both Ni-Cd and LA.

Battery Boxes

Temperature extremes and unwanted exposure can place stress on critical battery systems. Our robust all-welded aluminum (steel construction also available) battery boxes are designed to shield and protect battery systems located in harsh outdoor environments.

Micro-Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines can provide supplemental power to solar power systems during periods of insufficient solar radiation. We utilize the robust SuperWind Wind Turbines (350W-1.2kW) which can operate under extreme conditions autonomously and automatically for improved reliability.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) can provide supplemental power to solar power systems during periods of inclement weather and winter to improve overall system reliability. We utilize Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (250W-1kW) that are powered by propane or natural gas and automatically start when voltage is low.

Stirling Engines

Stirling Engines are capable of providing supplemental power to solar power systems during periods of inclement weather and winter months. We utilize PowerGen Stirling Engines (1.2kW to 5.6kW) that are powered by propane or natural gas and can operate automatically for 60,000+ hours!