In future when there will be a shortage of fossil fuels then we have to switch from conventional resources to new technology. The selection of new technology must be very carefully done because it should be able to sustain with the future challenges and able to satisfy our future demands. In past few decades so many technologies have been proposed, being tested and only a few of them are proven themselves. Solar energy is one of the technologies that have proven itself as one of the most reliable technologies which can meet our all requirements. Based on this, we at SISTec Bhopal as a department of Electrical Engineering have developed a new system which harnesses solar power to run our trains.

An animation on this concept is also developed here :

These days there is a massive load on railways as this is the primary means of the transport for the world. Day by day as the population is increasing the load on the rail transport system is also increasing and this system needs a large quantity of fuel. As we are increasing the capacity of the system to supply the demand, but what about the future when fossil fuel gets exhausted. There is high need of developing future fuel substitutes.

In the proposed concept we find that solar energy is only the future technology which would be able to generate a great ample of energy to run the future expanded railway system. So we have to use solar panels at different locations to feed the system. In most of the solar based system, the big problem that generally arises is that it requires large amount of batteries to store generated energy when it is not in use but this increases the financial burden on the system to a greater extent. We planned to use “air compressors” instead of batteries to store energy during off periods the model of solar panel unit is shown below.

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Solar panel unit with a compressor

When solar light falls on panels installed at equidistant units throughout the track. The panel gives an electrical output which then controlled by a controller to run a compressor and store it until it gets filled up to a predefined pressure. Compressor through a pipe is then connected to a propelling gear unit which installed nearby on the track. The gear units have magnetic sensors which can sense the presence of a massive object (train) and actuate the gear unit which ran by the compressed air stored in the compressors.

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Gear propulsion unit connected with compressor


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Train and a gear unit


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Gear unit pushing rake of train

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Gear unit pushing rake of train and decrease in pressure of compressor

When the train passes over the gear unit the gear teeth combines with the rake installed beneath the train and push the train to run forward. The speed of the train can be command by controlling the speed of the gear rotation of the units by the driver present in the engine cockpit. As the train passes over the working gear unit the pressure of the compressor decrease because a large amount of energy is required. The size of the compressor must be wisely selected as it has to run various trains of different size and weight and it should take least possible time to get refilled as soon as next train will arise. This process accurses at ever propulsion unit present throughout the track. In this way, solar energy can be used in an optimum way.

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Sourabh Sharma

Assistant Professor (Department of EE)

Sagar Group of Institutions – Ratibad 

Tripti Kumari

Digital Marketing Associate

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