Solar Assisted Power Supply for Rail Coaches


Awareness for the need of sustainable and eco-friendly mobility is on the increase and various innovations take place in this area. The focus of the work is to assess the feasibility of installing solar PV modules atop train coaches in India. Most long distance trains of India consist of Alstom-LHB [Linke Hofmann Busch] coaches that do not have self-generating systems, making diesel generator cars mandatory to supply the required power for the electrical loads of the coaches. Feasibility of supplementing the diesel generator sets with power from Solar PV modules installed on the coach rooftops is studied. Conclusion drawn is that the area available on the coach rooftop is more than sufficient to generate the required power (electrical lighting load). For the case study, a standard railway route plied by a train that covers a distance of 1800 km is considered. Estimated saving of diesel is approximately 90,800 litres per year per train-set. Our calculations indicate that the payback period on the investment is around 4-5 years. Also, this scheme would amount to an approximate reduction of 239 Tonnes of carbon-dioxide emissions per year per train-set. Indian Railways being the largest railway network of the world, operates 11,000 trains in a day. Turning this scheme into reality, there would be a significant improvement in the global environmental issues and energy crisis. Installation of this system on any train around the world, especially in the tropical regions is a wise investment and would be an effective solution for various transportation systems.

Author Information
M. Shravanth Vasisht, Indian Institute of Science, India
Vishal C, Indian Institute of Science, India
J. Srinivasan, Indian Institute of Science, India
Sheela K. Ramasesha, Indian Institute of Science, India

Paper Information
Conference: NACSEE2014
Stream: Energy: Renewable Energy and Environmental Solutions

This paper is part of the NACSEE2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon