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Energy Conservation – Renewable sources of Energy

By on May 11, 2013

Most of the modules for tapping using solar power available in the market are from the demand of Industry, residential and office complex. These modules may not immediately suit the Railways requirement. It is therefore necessary to identify the economic usage of the solar energy specific to Railways and then have the modules developed for the purpose.

Most economic options for use of renewable sources of energy is when

Most economic options for use of renewable sources of energy is when

  1. It provides service directly without converting it to electrical energy and then using it
  2. It directly charges the battery of the system without requiring inverter and separate storage battery
  3. Power is utilized at the very instant without a need for storage.

Solar Geyser, cooking and distilled water plants

These options are best economic options where solar energy is directly used. Funds earmarked for renewable sources of energy shall first be prioritized in these areas. Use of electrical energy for these purposes itself is energy inefficient option, therefore, makes solar water heater  financial viable as per the existing norms.

  • Provision of solar water heater to supply water to an electric boiler of Rajdhani type Pantry Cars.
  • Provision of solar geyser in 24×7 hrs working or full occupancy installations such Loco staff Running Rooms, Hospital, Canteens, Training Centres etc. shall fully be covered. A large number of such installations have already been covered and is in the first priority to cover the balance one. During extreme winters it may not be possible to get the desired output temperature from the solar geyser, but even raising the ambient, saves on energy.



  • Use of electricity for the distilled water plant shall be stopped and most economical arrangement can be considered at the roof top of the building;

DSC03248 DSC03247







Solar Modules to charge the battery of the coach

Solar modules provided at washing lines to directly charge the battery of the coach. As per the existing system, every coach is connected to charging line to replenish the charge. Instead of using utility power, it is more economical and convenient to charge these batteries directly from solar module.

Narrow and meter gauze TL coaches to be provided with roof mounted solar panels to charge the battery removing self generating units. Dedicated BG passenger coaches working in a closed circuit shall also be considered for the purpose. Bendable solar panels which can be pasted on the coach roof without affecting maximum moving dimension will serve the purpose.

solar panel on roof coach curved solar film







When entrepreneurs are working for solar powered road vehicle and even locomotives also, then why delay its application for train lighting?

Grid connected Power supply

The power supply generated through solar module is directly fed into the grid without storing in the battery. There are many options of using this power to connect daytime load which is also quite significant in maintenance depots, workshop, buildings with corridor in centre, hospital etc.

Avoid using solar energy for inefficient uses

Meeting targets is one of the main objectives in any organization and use of solar energy is no exception. Never use solar illumination system when utility power supply is available. A picture below demonstrates where solar lighting is fitted at a level crossing gate interlocked to a railway station having auxiliary transformer tapping traction power supply.

Maintenance Issues

Solar modules are maintenance free with very long life of more than 30 years (scitizen.com).  But this is not so with accessories which constitute about 30% of the cost. The accessories are not maintenance free. The accessories are the water pump, pipeline, insulation for solar geyser and battery, current controller for solar lights and require maintenance. It is therefore, important to go for maintenance contract cost inbuilt with the project cost and financial viability worked out accordingly. Renewable sources of Energy

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