India’s ‘first solar-powered train’: All you want to know about Indian Railways’ green initiative
With Indian Railways aggressively focusing on renewable energy, India’s first solar panel-fitted train is all set to commence trial runs shortly. What makes this trial run special is that all coaches of the train would be lit from power generated by the rooftop solar panels.Last year, Northern Railways had fitted one coach of the Rewari-Sitapur broad gauge passenger train with solar panels. However, this would be the first DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) broad gauge train, in which all coaches have solar panels, says Railways.The solar-panel powered train will be tested on the Jodhpur division of the North Western Railways. The DEMU train which is being used for the trial run has eight coaches, with each coach fitted with twelve solar panels.Each solar panel will generate 300 watt of electricity, which means 3.6KW of power per coach. This, the Indian Railways says will be enough to provide electricity for lights and fans inside the coach. However, enough power would not be generated to run air-conditioners. Is Railways planning to run ACs on solar power in future? That remains to be seen, says Tarun Jain, the Chief Public Relations Officer of North Western Railways. “We will begin trials of this solar-panel fitted train shortly. We are awaiting some final clearances. After intensive trials, we will be able to gauge the performance of the solar panels. Only then any decision on scaling up the scope of the solar panels can be taken,” Jain told FE Online.