The Tiruchi Railway Division has decided to harness solar energy in a major way to power the manned level-crossing gates in the division.
The green initiative is a power conservation measure by utilising the renewable energy source.
Solar photo voltaic modules of 640 Wp with battery back-up are proposed to be installed in the chosen manned level-crossing gates falling within the limits of Tiruchi Division to cater to its power requirements.
Railway sources told The Hindu that solar photo voltaic modules are planned to be provided in 60 level-crossing gates in the nearly 190-kilometre Thanjavur – Villupuram main line section.
Encompassing over 10 revenue districts, the Tiruchi Railway Division has two major sections: Villupuram – Tiruchi chord line via Vriddhachalam and Ariyalur and Villupuram –Thanjavur main line section via Mayiladuthurai and Kumbakonam. The Tiruchi Railway Division alone accounts for over 500 level-crossings of which more than 300 are manned.
Power for the manned level-crossing gates is presently being purchased from the TANGEDCO (Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited).
The divisional railway authorities have set the process in motion by floating tender for providing solar photo voltaic modules in 60 manned gates falling in the Thanjavur – Villupuram main line section. The objective behind this initiative is to harness solar energy to meet the power requirements of the level-crossing gates, railway officials say adding that power requirements varied from one gate to another.
The long term idea is to have solar energy to meet the power requirements of the gates and gradually minimise the dependency on electricity purchased from the State government, a senior railway officer said.