According to reports, with the availability of conventional power turning scarce owing to poor generation, the South Central Railway plans to utilise solar energy on a large scale.
The Vijayawada Division proposes to install solar energy plants at 17 locations to save conventional power.
The Railway authorities plan to fix solar panels on top of the retiring rooms, crew rest rooms, air-conditioned dormitories and in the running rooms at Ongole, Nellore, Gudur, Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam, Narsapuram and Vijayawada.
Solar energy plants were commissioned at some rest houses and retiring rooms in the past. The Railways will set up solar water heaters with 48,500 Litres Per Day (LPD) capacity by 2012-13, and save 9,33,122 units per annum, at 12-hours per day working schedule.
Speaking to The Hindu , Divisional Railway Manager Pradeep Kumar said that the SCR had installed solar heaters at some drivers and TTEs’ rest rooms during 2011-12 and saved 4.13 lakh units of power.
“During 2012-13, the Railways has proposed to set up solar water heaters with 500 Litres Per Day (LPD) in rest rooms, and 1,500 LPD in six new running rooms. The amount to be spent is about Rs.62 lakh on the project and the works are in different stages”, said the DRM.
Senior Deputy Electrical Engineer (Maintenance) K. Nagendra Prasad said that the SCR had fixed solar energy panels on some street lights at the staff quarters in Satyanarayanapuram.
The officials were planning to arrange solar panels for more number of street lights, to conserve energy.
“The SCR is also doing solar electrification with Solar Light Pipes in the divisional office, in Vijayawada. In this process, sun tubes will be used for lighting, which emits less heat and gives high quality lighting”, the DEE said.