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Prototype of Solar Power-Enabled Train Is Undergoing Trial: Indian Railways

India’s first Solar Enabled Powered Train is at the final stages of testing before going live for the public. Here are some of the updates we have for you.

Indian railway finally started working on their ambitious plan of using solar energy to run trains. It is indeed, a good step to cut out the pollution.


Words of Railway Officials?

“The prototype of the solar power enabled coach is undergoing trials, and soon the entire train will be fitted with solar panels”, officials said.
“As the pilot project, one non-AC coach has been fitted with solar panels on the rooftop. The trial has been successful so far with the coach generating nearly 17 units of electricity every day. Depending on its success, decision will be taken to convert the entire train into a solar power enabled one,” said Divisional Railway Manager, Arun Arora.Officials  also said that by harnessing solar power, the railways will be able to save Rs 1.24 lakh per coach year. Solar energy will be used to meet the electricity needs in moving trains, and reduce diesel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions,” Arora said. Officials also added India has huge solar power potential, with a good amount of sunlight available for a major part of the day round the year. Harnessing solar power to power Indian Railways is more feasible and cost-effective. 
According to a Northern Railway official, 40 SQ metres of space is available on a train’s roof top. Of these, nearly 24 SQ-metre of space is covered with 12 solar panels. The remaining 16 SQ-metre of space can further accommodate six solar panels, officials said.

Previous of Indian Railway attempts for Substituting Fuel:

Indian Railways has been focusing on an alternate source of fuels from very long with trials already on to use CNG, biodiesel and natural gas among others. And also, CNG is being used in local trains on Rohtak–Rewari section of Delhi Division. The dual fuel concept of using CNG and diesel has also helped in saving fuel and money.


What this initiative will profit?

  • Solar-powered trains will help to cut Pollution.
  • It will significantly bring down diesel consumption. And can reduce diesel consumption by up to 90,000 litres per year
  • It will also prove to be cost-effective. Railways will be able to save Rs 1.24 lakh per coach year
  • Right now, it is generating nearly 17 units of electricity every day, and expectations are much more in coming future.
  • It will bring down the carbon dioxide emission by over 200 tonnes.

So, overall we can see that this initiative is to cut down on the railways’ fuel bill, which is the second-largest component of expenditure after the employee salaries for the cash-strapped government behemoth used by over 1.3 crore people every day.

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