No one has remained unaffected with the on-going climate change and updates on lowering the carbon emissions across the world. It’s also imperative that humans are consuming sources which are non-renewable, at a faster pace than ever before in the history of mankind. Indian Railways runs over 33% of its fleet on non-renewable sources such as coal and diesel, the demand as well as prices of which are scaling higher year over year. Railrecipe brings you updated information on how Indian Railways is meeting its energy demands in an efficient manner.
In a bid to curb the index of minifying the use of non-renewable quotient, Railways have planned to establish solar panels beside the railway tracks across major routes. In a similar endeavor, Railways are planning to establish solar power plants to supplement energy requirements for its overhead supplies for electric locomotive vehicles. The very first of its kind in the Solar plant established at Bina in Madhya Pradesh. This experiment is first of its kind in the world where solar power will be used to run trains. BHEL has framed the complete design of the plant.
The Solar Power Plant at Bina- What, Where, and How much would be the Power Capacity?
The design prepared by BHEL or Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, a PSU of govt of India is all about setting up solar panels across the railway lines as its pilot projects. This plant has been installed on the vacant railway land. It can produce 1.7 megawatts of electricity and is ready to run trains with this power.
Solar energy has never been used to run trains in the world till now. Railway networks, at different places in the world, use solar energy mainly to meet the electricity needs of stations, residential colonies, and offices. Indian Railways along with BHEL has built this plant in just eight months.
How Railways would Be Utilizing the Solar Energy Produced
Solar energy, as we all know has larger potential than what everyone perceives. The solar plant at Bina will generate DC power which will be converted into AC through an inverter and transferred through a transformer to transmit the energy of 25KV AC to the overhead (electric wires above the trains). This solar plant will generate 24.82 lakh units of electricity annually.
How Will This Benefit Railways in Terms of Revenue
Railways expect to save Rs 1.37 Crores in annual electricity bill once this plant is operational. Also, this is a pilot run for now and if the results are promising, this would be a major leap in the field of energy supply for the national carrier. More and more such plants would be introduced to meet the growing energy demands in the future.
Other Prospective Solar Power Plants in Pipeline
The railway is also working to set up power plants in Neemuch, Agar, and Shajapur. Apart from Bina, the solar power plant is also being set up in Itarsi in collaboration with a private company. Concerned over the expenditure on electricity, Railways has planned to use solar power for a train. If all goes well, Bina and Itarsi would have the solar power plant to provide electricity to all stations and trains under the Bhopal division.
Source-: Indian Railways sets up solar plant in Bina to directly power railway overhead line