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Flexible Solar Panels Are Being Added To India's Trains

By Brian Spaen

India’s been constantly pushing toward renewable energy. Nearly a month ago, they announced a goal to only sell electric vehicles by 2030. The biggest coal producer in the world that’s located in their country has announced a shutdown of 37 mines. Another step they’re taking is placing solar panels on their railroad system.

Indian Railways is going to limit their fuel usage by installing solar panels and battery packs on 250 trains. The Economic Times reports that six cars will initially get the additions. They'll be attaching flexible 4.5 kilowatt solar panels and lithium-ion batteries that are either 110 or 120 volts. These will be tested out in the public for two months.

Evaluation will be made on how the solar panels attached to the trains will absorb the sun’s energy. Hero Future Energies’ CEO, Sunil Jain, explained how these panels would impact the cars in the report. “Flexible solar panels on moving trains is a good idea. However, efficiency of solar panels on moving trains is something which needs to be seen...Additionally, these panels would also increase the weight of the train requiring extra fuel to move them.”