Indian Railways’ Southern Railway (SR) zone with the goal of scaling to non-renewable power generation capacity and achieving zero net emissions by 2030 has decided
It will help achieve the government’s goal of working towards a clean and green environment and also in reducing the carbon footprint.
Through various measures taken by Southern Railway, energy savings of 570 million traction category units and 18 million non-traction units were achieved in 2020-21 compared to a year ago.
This offset carbon dioxide emissions of 588,000 metric tons and a theoretical saving of Rs. 377 crore at the Southern Railway.
Measures taken for energy conservation in the traction category
As part of the 100% Road Electrification mission, SR added 370 kilometers of track in 2020-21. This has enabled the introduction of electric locomotive passenger and freight trains, reduction of diesel locomotives and improved operational efficiency. Obtaining energy saving certificates (EScerts) within the framework of BEE’s PAT program, the revision of the maximum contractual demand with the National Electricity Council and the supply of equipment to compensate for the quality of energy have reduced energy consumption.
Efficient locomotive discounts
The electric locomotive sheds in Erode, Arakkonam and Roypuram are ISO 50001 certified and equipped with an APFC panel with reactor and screw compressor, both of which contribute to energy conservation. The introduction of the dual-mode shunting locomotive eliminated the need for a diesel shunting locomotive, resulting in an annual saving of Rs 3.66 crore. At present, 5 our of dual-mode locomotives are used in the courtyard of Tambaram and Basin Bridge. The Tondiarpet and Ernakulam locomotive sheds have received EMS 50001 certification due to their high energy savings.
The total number of electric locomotives increased to 568 nos, and diesel locomotives were reduced to 120 numbers, which saved a huge amount of diesel and ensured efficient train operation. Of the above 187 electric locomotives, these are three-phase locomotives with high speed, high carrying capacity and low power consumption, thus allowing efficient operations and energy saving.
The introduction of three-phase EMU in the suburbs of Chennai and MEMU in other remote areas in place of conventional EMU / MEMU is another step towards energy conservation. Additionally, BLDC fans and LED lights were used in these trains as well as conventionally designed cars. This resulted in an energy saving of about 29% in EMUs and 23% in MEMUs compared to their conventional designs.
Online monitoring of fuel savings is done by stopping locomotives during idle hours and has resulted in savings of approx. Rs. 47 crores in 2020-21. 15 nos. medium diesel locomotives have been condemned and sold since 2019 and 100 diesel locomotives have been kept in the land reserve stock (GRS). It also helped save fuel and labor. Reduction of the number of diesel filling depots and diesel locomotives in service from 340 to 120 nos. has reduced the consumption of a substantial amount of diesel resulting in savings of Rs. 371 crore to date in the current fiscal year 2021-22.
Modern rolling stock
In terms of drive, the conventionally designed rakes have been replaced with 77 energy efficient LHB designed rakes. 37 pairs of these rakes run on HOG (Head on generation) which eliminates the operation of diesel generators in electric cars, thus saving a huge amount of diesel and eliminating air pollution. HOG technology has eliminated the need for a prime mover, as the energy needs of the train lights and fans are met by the overhead traction powered by the locomotives. During 2021-22, until August, 22.65 liters of lakh diesel were saved, which is equivalent to ??38 crores.
Southern Railway has installed 4.9 MWp of solar power to date. The annual solar power output in 2020-21 is 4.07 million units, resulting in a theoretical saving of Rs 1.77 crore. The total energy generated to date by these solar power plants from the date of installation is 12 million units, resulting in theoretical savings of ??5 crores.
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