The project we are talking about today, although it will not be enough to retire diesel engines, will supply 15% of the energy consumed by Indian trains, through solar panels placed on the roofs of the trains. We are talking about a reduction in polluting emissions of approximately 200 tons of CO2 per year.
India is one of the largest countries in the world, where more than 1200 million people live, with a population density of 377.6 inhabitants / km², and where the train is one of the main means of transport in the country. Hence the importance of this news.
12,000 trains circulate daily through India, carrying 23 million passengers. Indian Railways, the public company that runs the trains, estimates that it uses about 3 billion liters of diesel a year.
In addition to the panels on the roofs of the trains, they also plan to build solar plants at 200 train stations.
When the trains are not in use, the solar panels will continue to generate renewable energy, which will be used as clean energy in the commercial power grid.
The first prototype designed by wagon maker Integral Coach Factory and the Indian Institute of Science is already circulating in India. If the tests are satisfactory, all the trains will be progressively equipped with photovoltaic panels.
The first of the trains is already in service in the capital New Delhi, where the trains work tirelessly consuming liters and liters of diesel. Solar panels already help this train to consume less diesel and therefore, to pollute less. It is estimated that by putting solar panels on six carriages of a train, approximately 21,000 liters of diesel could be saved each year. The solar panels will power the fans, lights and electronic displays of the wagons. If there is excess energy, it will accumulate in the train’s batteries.
In these projects, new innovations in solar windows could be very important in the future, which in their latest developments could already generate 50 times more energy than conventional photovoltaics.