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North Central Railways of India to use Solar Energy to power atleast 259 level crossing gates in a year

Panchabuta has often talked about the  potential of offgrid solar- especially in the telecom space-particularly in the rural telecom and telecom tower space. We have also discussed of the immense potential in the defence and the railways for solar pv based solutions. Opportunities exist for cost effective and innovative solutions in the low and medium temperature thermal collectors space.

Indian Railways had announced earlier this year that they would like to observe 2011-12 as the year of clean energy.

In November last year Indian Railways had announced plans of going green in a big way. At that time the initiatives include the introduction of new generation electric and diesel locomotives, use of bio-diesel and procurement of minimum three-star rated products, which are all showing results in saving energy.

Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, as a first step has earlier commissioned a 10.5-MW wind farm in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.

The railways further announced that one hundred and fifty of the Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) machines employed in Railways are run on solar energy and they had placed an important attention on solar energy as an alternative.

In a unique model that railway had proposed, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) had approved and registered the project of Improving Energy Efficiency in Indian Railways residential quarters through Compact Fluorescent. Three per cent of the Carbon Credits that would accrue from the project will also be earned by Indian Railways.

Earlier this year,  Railways has inaugurated India’s first green station at Manwal on the Jammu-Udhampur rail route. In an important step,  the complete work has been done departmentally by the railways by arranging solar panels from Kapurthala rail coach factory and Solar charge controllers have been purchased from market.

Continuing with the clean energy initiative, The North Central Railway, has come up with a natural alternative where solar panels would be providing the energy to operate as many as 129 level crossings gates. These gates  have  been electrified with the help of solar panels.

In the next financial year 130-140 more crossings would be electrified using solar panels. This step would not only save money and protect environment but, also ensure smooth operation of crossings. Also, it would prevent accidents at crossings in far-flung areas where due to shortage of power, the level gates are not non-functional most of the time.

According to the report, chief public relations officer, NCR, Sandip Mathur said, “Installation of solar panels helps in the conservation of energy. Besides, the operation of the level crossings is better managed.”

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