DMRC to go eco-friendly, install solar panels

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Sania Ashraf-

Four months before the scheduled deadline, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has installed the solar-panels on metro stations to achieve the target of generating 20-megawatt power of electricity.

“Innovating tendering and proper distribution of work and the decreasing power tariff helped in accomplishing the task before schedule,” Manuj Singhal, Chief Engineer, Electrical and Planning Department said.

It was a daunting task when we started working on the project in 2014, but our hard work made it possible before time, he added.

After DMRC successfully installed photo-voltaic solar plant of 500-kilowatt power in 2014 on Dwarka Sector 21, the cooperation has focused its attention on deriving energy from renewable sources.

The Phase-III of the Metro, which is near completion, has its auxiliary power –escalators, lights, air conditioning — entirely sourced from solar power.

Rooftop solar power initiative of the Delhi Metro is the fifth project of DMRC to get registered with the Clean Development Mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

While DMRC is still relying entirely on grid stations for electricity, officials said as of now there are no plans of harnessing the solar energy for the metros. In the future, however, there are chances of installing bi-facial solar panels

Namrata Sharma, Assistant Manager, Solar Operations said, “This will involve installing two-storey high solar panels on the via-duct on which the trains runs. These will not only generate electricity from both sides but will also form a noise barrier generated and also forming a protective membrane for the train”

Solar power installations, officials say, to come with their share of hurdles. The restrictive working atmosphere poses a challenge for us.

“The only time available to us is between 1 AM and 4 AM and the 25-kilowatt line runs below the workers, who work on these installations on curved roofs,” he added.

DMRC is providing consultancy to Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai and Nagpur Metros in utilising the solar energy.

“We have provided consultancy to Kochi metro and helped it install 4Mwp of solar energy,” said Sharma.

She also informed how DMRC has offered pro bono consultancy services to private enterprises and helped them with solar power adoption.

“Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences is an example. We helped them in installing solar installations without charging a fee, its only for the greater good,” she added.

Green building rating had no method to rate a metro station.  DMRC in consultation with Indian Green Building Corporation and the United States Green building Council has devised a method to rate a metro system too.

“Now whenever a metro system, anywhere in the world requires a Green Building Rating, it will require a certification from DMRC,” said Sharma.

“The Rewa Solar Plant which is soon to be operational is expected to provide Delhi Metro with 345MU. “Right now our consumption of power is 750MU which we take from DISCOMs.

Once Rewa becomes operational our reliance on grid power will further lessen.”

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