Under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Scheme, the largest power generation equipment manufacturer in India- Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) had undertaken a project with the Indian Railways for setting up a 1.7 MWp (megawatt peak) solar energy project at the Madhya Pradesh’s Bina district that will connect directly to the Overhead Traction System of the Indian Railways. The solar power project between the Indian Railways and BHEL was signed on 9th October 2019.

The solar power project was completed as of 6th July 2020 and is currently under extensive testing and trial. The solar power project is expected to be commissioned with 15 days. The Solar Power Project is the first solar power plant in the world in which the power generated from the plant will be directly fed to the Overhead Traction System of the Railways.

Challenges

The major challenge in the project was that the Indian Railways use single phase 25 kV AC (Alternating Current) in its Overhead Traction System to power the locomotives, while the Solar Panels at the Solar Power Plant produces DC (Direct Current) Power.  Hence the DC power from the Solar Panels had to be converted into AC power.

High Capacity Inverters with single-phase output were installed for converting DC into AC power. To directly feed power to the TSS (Traction Sub Station of the Indian Railways), through the transformer the 25 kV AC is being stepped up from the inverters.

Benefits of the Project

The Solar Power Plant will save Rs 1.37 crore for the Indian Railways in a year.  Approx 25 lakh units of energy every year will be produced by the Solar Power Plant for the Indian Railway.

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