Indian Railways launched its first solar-powered diesel electrical multiple unit ( DEMU ) train from Safdarjung railway station in Delhi, today. This train will ply from Sarai Rohilla in Delhi to Farukh Nagar in Haryana everyday. A total of 16 solar panels, producing 300 Wp each, are fitted in this six coach train. DEMU has a power back-up and can run on battery for at least 72 hours.
The launch of DEMU is in fact, not the only reason to be proud of,
- The train was manufactured under Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, and the solar panels have costed just about Rs 54 lakh.
- Also, the DEMU train makes India a pioneer for using solar panels as grid in railways.
In a step towards fulfilling their promise during last year’s budget announcement made by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu where he had announced that Indian railways would generate 1,000 MW of solar energy in the next five years, “Indian Railways is committed to promote clean and renewable energy,” Prabhu said during the launch of DEMU.
It is expected that solar power will be introduced in urban trains first and later in long-distance trains as well. Indian railways plan to introduce 50 more such trains in the near future. Nearly Rs 700 crore is expected to be saved by Indian Railways, once the project is implemented.
Each solar powered train will contribute in reducing 1,350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission in 25 years.
Indian railways could save 5.25 lakh litres of diesel per train in 25 years which translates into a saving of Rs 3 crore per DEMU train. The solar power will also help in reducing 1,350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission per train in a period of 25 years.
DEMU train meaning : Diesel Electrical Multiple Unit
Difference between DEMU and MEMU trains : In a MEMU, the primary source is electrical power, collected from the overhead catenary. While in a DEMU, the primary source is diesel. A diesel engine powers an alternator and subsequently feeds the electric motors. So basically, end result is the same, it’s just that they differ in how they are powered externally.