IISc team studies feasibility of solar installations on trains

By Editor


A team of researchers from Indian Institute of Science-Bangalore (IISc) is testing the feasibility of installing solar panels on railway coaches in India.

On Wednesday the team conducted tests of efficiency of such installations by studying output from panels installed atop a special LHB sleeper class coach attached to the Coimbatore Shatabdi express.

The solar panels have peak capacity of 180 watts each. The study being conducted will not only help prove feasibility of such an initiative but also to frame necessary guidelines for adoption.

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The researchers have told The New Indian Express that they chose Shatabdi express for the study as it was a high speed train with few stops and therefore presented the perfect case study offering highly variable condition.

The IISc team has gotten a pyranometer and a vibration sensor installed with the panels to help with the studies. While the pyranometer measures solar irradiance on the panels, the vibration sensor gives a picture of the physical stresses the panels undergo during trips.

Solar power generation can be adversely affected by a host of factors including high wind thrust, clouded skies and many more.

Although, the researchers have found initial trials encouraging, they believe it is too early to predict whether the project would save as much fossil fuel as was being forecast earlier.

The study is being carried out during the monsoon season to provide the worst case scenario as clouded skies limit the availability of direct sunlight.

Ajith Kumar S

[email protected]

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