In a bid to reduce dependency on the conventionally sources of energy, the Salem Division of the Southern Railway has reportedly installed solar panels on the roofs of the six coaches of Jan Shatabdi Express between Coimbatore and Mayiladuthurai .
According to the New Indian Express, for installing 4.8 kwp solar panels on six coaches Southern Railway has spent Rs. 15.20 lakh.
The installation of the solar panel was carried out by a Delhi based private contractor and completed it a month ago.
Solar power is used for operating lights and fans in the coaches. The report says in the absence of solar energy, supply to the coach is catered by the conventional alternator/battery through a charge controller.
A senior official from Electrical Department speaking to the publication said, “We have been tapping 20 units of solar power used for operating 56 lights and 34 fans. As a result, 110 volt battery and alternator would get more life. We used to change batteries once in four years. However, we can now extend the lives of the batteries and the alternator by a few more years.”