For the first time, coaches on the Indian Railways would be powered by solar energy, with the national transporter retrofitting its passenger trains with flexible solar panels.
This will operate fans, light and mobile charging slots on the coaches, a railway official said.
Developed by the Indian Railway Organization for Alternate Fuels (IROAF), such solar panels were earlier fitted in DEMU trains last year.
After the success on these coaches, it was felt that solar energy can also be harnessed in railway’s main line coaches for the comforts of common man, the official said.
“With this target in mind, Member Rolling Stock (MRS)/ Railway board has directed IROAF to fit Solar PV Panels on rooftop of four passenger trains which face the problem of run down of batteries due to slow running of trains,” he said.
Such fitment of solar panels has started to operate in Sitapur-Delhi Riwari Passenger train.
These panels are light weight and easy to fit and most of these panels have been manufactured in India by CEL Ltd.
It is expected that each such coach will generate between 15 to 20 units (KWH) of electricity per day. The total weight of solar panel on these coaches is approximately 120 kg.
Along with generation of electricity, these coaches are also fitted with sensors which will monitor parameters of the solar energy being generated.
IROAF plans to fit solar panels on 250 coaches on DEMU and passenger trains, the official said.
Out of this, IROAF will undertake the fitment of flexible solar panels in three more passenger trains which face the problem of poor battery charging due to slow running.
These trains are 54255/56, Varanasi – Lucknow via Pratapgarh, 54334/33 Lucknow – Varanasi via Faizabad, and 14203/04 Varanasi – Lucknow Intercity, the official said.