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Considering how hard India is fighting the international community on increasing national coal use, the latest development in the nation’s train system signals the Asian giant’s commitment to green energy.
Indian Railways announced a new train, lined with solar panels on the roof to power lights, fans, and displays, that would still be powered by diesel fuel for movement. But the 16 solar panels on each coach will end the need for diesel generators in each car to power the aforementioned amenities.
A train with six of the new locomotives could save 21,000 liters of diesel every year from the upgrade. The Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuels led the research for the pilot project.
“It is not an easy task to fit solar panels on the roof of train coaches that run at a speed of 80 km per hour. Our engineering skills were put to a real test during the execution of this rooftop solar project for Indian Railways,” Sundeep Gupta, a top official at the research firm Jackson Engineers told an Indian publication following the announcement.
Data from 2014 shows Indian Railways accounted for the use of 2.6 billion liters of diesel.
India has begun looking for new energy partners as a burgeoning middle class demands fuel to power their personal and professional lives. Increasingly, New Delhi seems to rely on American suppliers to meet its energy needs.
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Earlier this week, Bharat Petroleum became the second Indian refiner to start buying U.S. crude oil, after the company purchased 500,000 bpd of Mars and the same amount of Poseidon crude, to be delivered between late September and early October, according to Reuters.
Indian Oil Corp., the country’s top refiner, was the first Indian company to purchase US crude, purchasing 1.6 million barrels of Mars crude last week.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…