India Rolls Out Trains with Solar Powered Cars

State-owned Indian Railways launched the country’s first solar-powered train with rooftop solar panels that power the lights, fans, and information display systems inside passenger cars. Although the train will still be drawn by a diesel-powered locomotive, a set of 16 solar panels atop each car will replace the diesel generators that typically power these appliances. The Railways estimate that a train with six solar-powered cars will save approximately 5,548 gallons of diesel every year, worth around $18,000.

Solar panels on railway cars

Quartz says that the rooftop solar system was developed by Noida-based Jakson Engineers, under the direction of the Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuels. “It is not an easy task to fit solar panels on the roof of train coaches that run at a speed of 50 miles per hour. Our engineering skills were put to a real test during the execution of this rooftop solar project for Indian Railways,” Sundeep Gupta, vice-chairman and managing director of Jakson Engineers

Indian Railways has ambitious plans for solar: by 2020, the state-run transportation network plans to generate around 1,000 megawatts of solar power, which could be scaled up to 5,000 megawatts by 2025.



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Posted on by Gunjan Bagla
Gunjan Bagla
California-based management consultant Gunjan Bagla runs Amritt, a consulting firm helping American companies to succeed in India. Amritt is the trusted advisor for India market research, India business development, India market entry, Global Engineering, Global Technology Scouting, India R&D and Open Innovation. Gunjan is author of "Business in 21st Century India: How to Profit Today from Tomorrow’s Most Exciting Market" (Hachette Book Group, 2008), Amazon's top rated title on the subject. He has appeared as the India Expert on BBC Television, Bloomberg TV, Fox Cable Business and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Business Week for his expertise on India.


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