Tech edge to cut locomotives’ diesel consumption

The railways has decided to use multi-generator sets in its diesel locomotives to reduce diesel consumption by 20 percent.

Engines equipped with multi-generator technology are already being used in a pilot project at Itarsi in Bhopal division in West Central railways.

To introduce fuel-efficient technologies in diesel engines, Indian Railways has manufactured the first multi-genset locomotive in India. With this initiative, multi-genset locom­­otives are expected to usher in a new era of emissions-compliant locomotives on Indian Railways, said the ministry on Tuesday. Indian Railways has undertaken development of prototype multi-genset locomotives in the medium horse power range with three gensets of 800 horsepower (HP) each amounting to a gross HP of 2400. The trial of first multi-genset locomotive is undergoing on pilot basis at Itarsi in Bhopal Division in West Central Railway, it said.

Multi-genset locomotives employ a novel concept that involves the use of two or more small engines as compared to a single large engine in conventional locomotives. Multiple small engines work only when there is power demand; for higher power demand all the three engines work and the lower power demand may be met by a single engine.

These locos promise to reduce the fuel consumption by about 20 per cent while delivering the same power. As a result, the resultant NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) emissions will be far less and these locos will also have a smaller carbon footprint. The railways has 5,300 diesel engines with the capacity of 2400 HP each. These engines annually consume 250 crore litre of diesel at a cost of Rs 16,000 crore. The new technology will help offset expenses of Rs 3,200 crore annually.