Taking green initiatives, Indian Railways launched first Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) coaches equipped with solar-power where fan and lighting in coaches will be through solar energy. The train was flagged off by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu from Delhi’s Safdarjung Railway Station. The installed solar rooftop system will generate 7200 KW of energy per year per system which will be used for powering internal lights, fans and other electrical systems of the coach and has a battery backup.
A project by Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuels (IROAF), a unit of Indian Railways that works to promote bio-diesels and other environmentally benign alternative fuels for India’s rail network. The project will help offset carbon emissions by 9 tons per coach per year and also save about 21,000 litres of diesel for a solar-powered DEMU with six trailer coaches, thereby bringing cost saving of Rs 12 lakh every year.
A total of 16 solar panels of 300 Watt panel has been installed on the roof of the coach to generate the requisite power. This is the first instance of a diesel-run passenger train fitted with solar rooftop system with battery backup. The system is capable of developing up to 20 kWh per day throughout the year.
“The surplus power generated during peak hours will be stored in a 120 AH battery system. It will help in generating useful data for research for adapting the system for future rollout on all trains of Indian Railways. The solar system has been fitted with anti-theft mechanism which can withstand trains running with a speed of more than 100 km/hr”, official informed.