In a move towards zero carbon footprint, Indian Railways has awarded contract to Hyderabad-based Medha Servo Drives for conversion of diesel power mode to hydrogen fuel as retrofitment of one Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) rakes on Sonipat-Jind section.
Besides, the Railways has also finalised plan for introducing hydrogen fuel cell-based technology for narrow gauge locomotives in Kalka-Shimla section.
According to the Railways, Medha has been awarded the contract to develop hydrogen fuel cell-based technology that can be used to upgrade existing diesel-powered trains at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 70 crore.
Railways maintain that about Rs 70 crore investment in the hydrogen fuel cell project would be recovered in less than two years as the cost of the hydrogen is less than diesel.
The retrofitting of diesel-powered DEMU and converting it into hydrogen fuel-powered train set will not only save the cost to the tune of Rs 2.3 crore annually by converting from diesel to hydrogen, but also save the carbon footprint (NO2) of 11.12 kilo tons per annum and particulate matter of 0.72 kilo tonnes per annum.
The conversion project entails retrofitting DEMU in 89 km Sonipat-Jind section. Later two hybrid narrow gauge locomotives will be retrofitted with hydrogen fuel cell power movement.
Equipment to be removed from DEMU include diesel engine, alternator, radiators, auxiliary generator, fuel tank water piping, batteries, inverters.
Like electricity, hydrogen is an energy carrier. Hydrogen produces no tailpipe emissions when used as fuel in vehicles.
Using hydrogen will be a major step towards lowering pollution from trains as the gas is known to be the greenest transport fuel. Hydrogen can be generated easily by electrolysing the water from solar energy.
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