The first solar-powered train set for trial!

More solar power to Indian Railways!

The railways is all geared up for it’s first solar powered train that will be run on trial, end of May. As per Gopal Sharma, the PRO North Western Railways, the route will be decided post the trial run and the train will operate as as passenger train. The idea is to utilize alternate source of energy. It is learnt that solar panels will be fitted in the solar power-enabled coaches.

Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister announced his plans (Railway Budget 2016-17) of generating 100 MW solar power in the next five years. Steps have already been taken to install solar panels in coaches (on the rooftops basically). Infact, last year, the railways conducted trial runs of Rewari-Sitapur passenger train, which was fitted with solar panels. Moreover, two more trains running on the Kalka-Shimla and Pathankot-Jognidernagar route were equipped with solar panels.

The process of installing DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) coaches has already begun in one of the workshops of Railways. The train will be run on trial in Jodhpur and each coach will have 12 solar panels on the rooftop. Each panel has the capacity to generate 300 Watts, provided the conditions are ideal, which means generation of 3.6 KW electricity in total. And this will be used for the the load of 1.5 KW required for fans and compact fluorescent lamp light bulbs inside the coaches.

Jakson Engineers Limited, a Noida-based form was given a contract worth Rs. 1.57 crore by the Indian Railway Organisation so the work of installing solar panels in DEMU coaches would be completed.

With the help of this initiative, the carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced (approximately 239 tonnes). Also, the Indian Railways will be able to save 82 lakh per train every year (by utilizing alternate sources of energy). And it will be able to meet 10% of its total energy requirements through this by the year 2020.

Besides solar energy, the railways will also consider using alternate sources of fuel like biodiesel, CNG and natural gas. Also, with this step will be fruitful in saving approximately 90,000 litres of diesel per year (only if solar panels are installed in all trains in the country)