A solar-panel powered coach, the first of its kind in Jan Shatabdi in Southern Railway, was flagged off on Thursday. The 4.8 kW solar PV panels have been mounted on a specially designed metallic structure to withstand wind velocity, vibration and shock of the trains. The solar panels will help the Railways in saving about 1,700 litres of diesel per annum per coach.
The Southern Railway spent Rs. 3.9 lakhs for fitting the 16 numbers of 300 watts solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the coach. The solar panels will back up 34 fans and 56 lights in each coach. The Railways will have to replace the existing conventional lights in the coach into LED lights before going ahead with the green initiative.
The successful performance of this coach will later pave way for having a full train with solar-panel powered coaches. The Railways will take into consideration all the safety aspects before plunging into this project in a full-fledged manner, the sources said.
The Salem Railway Division is making a big headway in tapping solar energy. Mr. Johri, in the presence of Hari Shankar Verma, Divisional Railway Manager, commissioned 1.5 kW roof top solar PV panels, hybrid inverter with battery backup, each costing Rs 1.38 lakhs at six railway stations of Chinna Salem, Salem Town, Ayodhyapattanam, Pukiravari, Mukahsapur and Ettapur road.