Indian Railways launches first solar auxiliary power train (Economic Times)

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Indian Railways on July 14 launched first solar-powered DEMU (diesel electrical multiple unit) train from the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi. The train will run from Sarai Rohilla in Delhi to Farukh Nagar in Haryana. A total of 16 solar panels, each producing 300 Wp, are fitted in six coaches.

This is the first time in the world that solar panels are being used as grid in railways. The train has a power back-up and can run on battery for at least 72 hours.

The solar panels generate about 17 units of power in a day which enables the lighting system in the coach. Currently Railways will be installing solar panels on non-AC coaches only.

Railways proposes to harness solar energy by utilising roof-top space of railway stations, other railway buildings and land including through the PPP mode as per the feasibility, the modalities of which are being worked out.

Railways has plan to generate 1000 MW solar power in the next five years. Steps are being taken to install solar plants at railway building rooftops and level crossings across the country.

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Written by Long Branch Mike