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NFR adopting energy conservation technologies to cut fuel costs
PRANJAL BHUYAN
 GUWAHATI, Feb 9 - The Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has started adopting new state-of-the-art technologies to promote energy conservation and also to cut its fuel costs.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that the zonal railway is now focusing more on the Head on Generation (HOG) technology.

“The new technology will not only help to reduce the power costs for running AC trains but will also help ensure a cleaner environment. There is zero emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in use of HOG technology. It is also noiseless and will thus help in reducing noise pollution levels as well,” said a senior NFR official.

It is noteworthy that the Indian Railways is currently working on electrification of tracks in the NFR zone and the first electric train service is expected to run in Assam by 2021.

The new generation Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches have been designed to run on End on Generation (EOG) system with two power cars employing two diesel generator sets on either end. HOG technology will replace the existing two generators in the LHB trains.

“In this new system, energy supply will be tapped from overhead power lines through pantograph to the train engine which will then be distributed to the coaches for facilities like lighting, air conditioning, operating fans and other equipment that runs on electrical power supply. As the government has decided to undertake electrification work over the entire NFR zone, the trains operated by the zone with LHB coaches are being modified in various depots and trial runs are being conducted,” said the official.

He said that HOG will ensure better reliability and service due to need for less number of power generating equipments as well as low maintenance and reduced train weight.

“The power generator cars which are being used presently consume around 100 litres of diesel per hour. Thus, there is substantial operating expenditure involved. In addition, there are also other irritants like high noise level and emission of fume during running of trains. With changeover to HOG technology, there will be huge savings in fuel bill. At present, the cost of using power through burning of diesel is about Rs 22 per unit, but with HOG the same will be available at only Rs 6 per unit,” said the source.

Officials also highlighted the factor of air pollution as diesel generators produce over 1,724 tonne of CO2 and 7.48 tonne of NOx per annum, apart from generating over 100 decibel (dB) noise.

“With the new HOG technology, there will be zero emission of CO2 and NOx, not to mention lack of noise. In place of two generator cars as presently exists, there will be one standby silent generator car to be used during any emergency.

“The space of the other car will be converted for installation of a coach for LHB second luggage, guard and Divyangs (LSLRD), which will also have capability to convert power from the overhead supply to be utilised in the entire train while providing space for luggage, guard room and additional passengers,” said the official.

NFR is looking to save Rs 2 crore of additional fuel cost every year from each rake by use of the new technology.

The diesel-operated EOG power cars are also being used for testing and pre-cooling of LHB rakes at pit lines of the coaching depots.

“This process takes about 5-6 hours per rake and there is considerable consumption of diesel fuel apart from creation of air and noise pollution. So we are working towards providing 750 volt three-phase power supply to coaching depots located at Kamakhya, Dibrugarh, New Jalpaiguri, Katihar and Agartala for testing of LHB rakes instead of using the existing diesel-run generators. The project has been already completed at Dibrugarh and New Jalpaiguri depots and is in progress at Kamakhya,” said a source at NFR.

He added that there will be savings of over Rs 25,000 per rake per trip on fuel cost incurred during testing of LHB coaches at pit line and also elimination of air and noise pollution which takes place due to running of these generators during testing and pre-cooling.

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