BENGALURU: A massive step towards conserving electricity has been taken by the Bengaluru Railway Division. For the first time, sophisticated technology has been deployed to control lighting by making use of Astronomical Timer Switches in 84 railway stations. This translates to energy savings of 730 units to 1095 units per station annually.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, K Puja, Senior Divisional Electrical Engineer, of the Division said, “Timer control panels for switching the lights ON and OFF have been provided. They have equipped with Astronomical Timer Switches which are advanced microcontroller-based technology devices.”
These devices have an added advantage of resetting itself to ON and OFF as per the Sunrise and Sunset based on the Longitude and Latitude of the location, she explained.
Apart from major stations in the Division, the Astronomical Switches are provided at all wayside stations in the Division including Sampige Road, Gubbi, Nittur, Rayakottai, Kelamangalam, Nagasamudram, Basampalle, Bisanattam, Yeliyur, Mulanur and Chintamani, Puja said. Lighting in all areas of the station including platforms and concourse area are covered by it.
“These stations do not have any staff present to monitor the operation of light switches. The Division will shortly extend this system to 11 railway stations in Hassan district,” she added.
While conventional timer switches are set to specific timings like say 6.30 am to 6.30 pm, this technology resets itself regularly based on the available lighting in the environment.
Divisional Railway Manager A K Verma billed them as Sun Synchronous timers. “This helps us in saving electricity bill and ensures that lights are available whenever required.”
Data shared by the Division on the savings to The New Indian Express reveals that an hour of energy savings can be made at each station per day due to these switches. On an average, the lighting load of any small station varies between 2 Kilowatts to 3 KW. Hence, an energy saving of approximately 730 units (Rs 5840 in monetary terms) to 1095 units (Rs 8760) of electricity can be saved annually per station, the data revealed.
The Divisional Railway Manager Office in Bengaluru, adjacent to KSR railway station has the honour of being the first building in Karnataka to be given the Five Star rating by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency under the Ministry of Power. The Railway Hospital too was later given the honour.