Indian railways made a leap of developments by announcing the introduction of non-AC train coaches with solar panels installed in them. Solar photovoltaic panels are believed to be extremely useful in regions that get abundant sunlight, and hence, the new is expected to favor the growth of Indian Railways. The energy produced by the photovoltaic solar panels would be used to power lights, fans, and charging points. The Indian Railway Organization of Alternate Fuels (IROAF) has been at the forefront of this development; the installation of PV solar panels in diesel-electric multi-unit trains was also accomplished by IROAF last year. It is evident that the installation of photovoltaic solar panels in trains would aid the development of Indian Railways while helping in saving tonnes of energy.
It is anticipated that a total of around Rs. 30 million could be saved over a period of 25 years post the installation of solar panels in trains. Furthermore, the carbon dioxide emission can also be reduced which could in turn help in bringing down the level of air pollution in the country. The solar energy harnessed through the photovoltaic panels may also help in charging the batteries when the alternators are not able to it due to slow running.
Future of Indian Railways
The plan of the IROAF is to install solar panels across 250 trailer coaches initially, and each coach is projected to generate electricity of the order of 15 to 20 kwh in a day. It is anticipated that the installation of solar panels in train coaches would be a primary step in making Indian Railways a green industry.