First solar powered 1600 HP DEMU train dedicated to nation

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu today dedicated to the nation the first 1600 HP DEMU train with solar powered coaches with a unique facility of battery bank.
The entire electrical need of the coaches for lighting, fans and information display system will be met from the solar energy produced from the solar panels fitted in the roofs of coaches, an official press release said.
While the coaches of the train have been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, its solar panels and systems have been developed and fitted by Indian Railways Organisation of Alternative Fuel (IROAF), Delhi.
The first rake has been commissioned and based at Shakurbasti DEMU shed in Delhi of Northern Railway. Twenty-four more coaches will be fitted with this system within the next six months. The first rake will be put in commercial service over the suburban railway system of Delhi division of Northern Railway.
Member Rolling Stock, Railway Board Ravindra Gupta, General Manager Northern Railway R.K Kulshreshtha, CAO of IROAF Ravinder Gupta, CME Northern Railway Arun Arora, CME IROAF G.K Gupta and DRM Delhi R.N Singh were among those present.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Prabhu said,“Indian Railways are committed for environment conservation and use of cleaner fuels. Indian Railways are trying to increase use of non-conventional sources of energy. More solar powered trains may be inducted in future.” 
The railways have already set a target of 1000 MW Solar Plants in next five years. it is also taking several others environment-friendly measures like tree plantation, bio-toilet, water recycling, waste disposal, using of bio-fuel CNG and LNG, wind energy, and so on.
Normally, DEMU trains provide power for its passenger comfort systems – lights and fans - from a diesel driven generator fitted on its Driving Power Car (DPC). IROAF has developed this system with a smart MPPT inverter which optimises power generation on a moving train to cater to full load even during the night. The unique feature of Battery Bank through storage battery ensures sufficient electricity when the sunlight is not available. The system helps in reducing diesel consumption of the DPC and hence reduces carbon signature of these commuter trains by reducing CO2 generation by 9 tonnes per coach per year.
A solar power DEMU train with six trailer coaches will save about 21,000 litres of diesel and thereby bring cost saving of Rs. 12 lakh every year. Savings for a 10-coach rake with eight trailer coaches will increase proportionately. These benefits will continue for the entire 25-year life-time of the rake. This will help in making DEMU commuter services better, more economical and environmentally friendly, the release said.
Solar hotel load (Lighting and Fan) system fitted on each coach is of 4.5 KWp capacity consisting of 16 Solar Panels of 300Wp each. This is adequate to power the fans and lights of the coach. The system is capable of developing up to 20 kWh per day (average) throughout the year.
Surplus power generated during peak hours is stored in a 120 AH battery system. The system uses a data acquisition system and interfaces with the existing hotel load power system of DEMU train. It will help in generating useful data for research for adapting the system for future roll out on all trains of IR. The system costs about Rs. 9 lakhs per coach at the prototype stage.


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