COIMBATORE: With a view to reducing the dependence on conventional sources of energy, the Salem Division of the Southern Railway has started tapping renewable energy successfully by placing solar panels on the roofs of the six coaches of Jan Shatabdi Express between Coimbatore and Mayiladuthurai
The railway has spent Rs 15.20 lakh for placing 4.8 kwp solar panels on six coaches.
A Delhi-based private contractor commenced the work on May 29 and completed it a month ago. Renewable energy is used for operating lights and fans in these six coaches. This has also helped reduce maintenance works. In the absence of solar energy, supply to the coach is catered by the conventional alternator/battery through a charge controller.
A senior official from Electrical Department in Salem Division said, “We have been tapping 20 units of solar power used for operating 56 lights and 34 fans. As a result, 110 volt battery and alternator would get more life. We used to change batteries once in four years. However, we can now extend the lives of the batteries and the alternator by a few more years.”