Energy efficient Indian Railways

Looking at energy conservation and increasing energy efficiency, the Indian Railways has taken several steps. Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Wednesday had elaborated the various steps taken by the ministry.

To begin with there will be use of energy efficient 3-Phase technology with regenerative features for electric locomotives, Mainline Electrical Multiple Units (MEMUs), Electrical Multiple Units (EMUs), train sets for better energy efficiency.

Head on Generation (HOG) system has been introduced in trains to reduce diesel fuel consumption in power cars. As many as 350 electric locomotives are equipped with hotel load converters.

To reduce further consumption of power, energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights replaced conventional ones at all Railway installations including railway stations, service buildings, residential quarters and coaches.

Officials said that regular energy audit at consumption points – energy efficiency studies of six production units and four workshops was conducted and up to 15 per cent energy efficiency improvement achieved. This included activities like identification of significant energy saving opportunities, one day training program, zeroing in on potential technology suppliers who can offer energy saving technologies to the units etc.

A lot of emphasis has been put on use of five-star rated electrical equipment and training of loco pilots for use of coasting, regenerative braking features and switching off blowers of electric- locos in case yard detention is more than 50 minutes.

Similarly, diesel locos are also shut down, if expected detention is more than 30 minutes and thereby resulting in reduction of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions.

It was to be ensured that trailing locomotive of multi units (MU) hauling empty freight trains are switched off to save energy.

Energy consumption on electric locomotives is regularly monitored through microprocessor based energy meters provided in all the electric locomotives and bench marking is done based on average energy consumption.

Authorities also decided on monitoring fuel consumption with respect to trip ration of diesel locomotive drivers.

In case of diesel locomotives, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) has been provided in 986 diesel locomotives to reduce fuel consumption when locomotive is idle and idling of diesel locomotives is being monitored through remote monitoring and management of locomotives and trains through a system called REMMLOT. At present 2606 locomotives are equipped with REMMLOT,” said a senior Railway official.

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