First Solar Powered Train Launched | PIB Summary

Minister of Railways dedicated to the nation the first 1600 HP DEMU train with Solar Powered Coaches with a unique facility of Battery Bank.

Details

  • The entire electrical need of the coaches for Lighting, Fans and Information Display System will be met from the Solar Energy produced from the solar panels fitted in the roofs of coaches.
  • While this train has been manufactured by the Coach Factory of Indian Railways namely Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, its Solar panels and Solar systems have been developed and fitted by Indian Railways Organisation of Alternative Fuel (IROAF) Delhi.
  • This first rake has been commissioned and based at Shakurbasti DEMU shed in Delhi of Northern Railway. Twenty-four more coaches will be fitted with this system within the next 6 months. The first rake will be put in the commercial service over the suburban railway system of Delhi division of Northern Railway.

DEMU Trains

  • Normally, DEMU trains provide power for its passenger comfort systems – lights and fans – from a diesel driven generator fitted on its Driving Power Car (DPC).
  • IROAF has developed this system with a smart MPPT inverter which optimises power generation on a moving train to cater to full load even during the night.
  • The unique feature of Battery Bank through storage battery ensures sufficient electricity when the sunlight is not available.
  • The system helps in reducing Diesel consumption of the DPC and hence reduces carbon signature of these commuter trains by reducing CO2 generation by 9 Tonnes per coach per year.

Significance

A solar power DEMU train with six trailer coaches will save about 21,000 Litres of Diesel and thereby bring cost saving of Rs.12 Lac every year. Savings for a 10 coach rake with 8 trailer coaches will increase proportionately. These benefits will continue for entire 25 years’ life time of the rake. This will help in making DEMU commuter services better, more economical and environment friendly.

Other important facts

  • Indian Railways is trying to increase use of non-conventional sources of energy. More solar powered trains may be inducted in future. Indian Railways has already made a target of 1000 MW Solar Plants in next five-years.
  • Indian Railways is also taking several others environment friendly measures like Tea Plantation, Bio-toilet, Water-Recycling, Waste Disposal, using Bio-fuel CNG and LNG, Wind Energy etc.

Raj Malhotra IAS Study Group.