Bharat Heavy Electronics Ltd. Current Affairs - 2020

First of its Kind Project in the World Commissioned by Indian Railways in collaboration with BHEL

Under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Scheme, the largest power generation equipment manufacturer in India- Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) had undertaken a project with the Indian Railways for setting up a 1.7 MWp (megawatt peak) solar energy project at the Madhya Pradesh’s Bina district that will connect directly to the Overhead Traction System of the Indian Railways. The solar power project between the Indian Railways and BHEL was signed on 9th October 2019.

The solar power project was completed as of 6th July 2020 and is currently under extensive testing and trial. The solar power project is expected to be commissioned with 15 days. The Solar Power Project is the first solar power plant in the world in which the power generated from the plant will be directly fed to the Overhead Traction System of the Railways.

Challenges

The major challenge in the project was that the Indian Railways use single phase 25 kV AC (Alternating Current) in its Overhead Traction System to power the locomotives, while the Solar Panels at the Solar Power Plant produces DC (Direct Current) Power.  Hence the DC power from the Solar Panels had to be converted into AC power.

High Capacity Inverters with single-phase output were installed for converting DC into AC power. To directly feed power to the TSS (Traction Sub Station of the Indian Railways), through the transformer the 25 kV AC is being stepped up from the inverters.

Benefits of the Project

The Solar Power Plant will save Rs 1.37 crore for the Indian Railways in a year.  Approx 25 lakh units of energy every year will be produced by the Solar Power Plant for the Indian Railway.

National Centre for Clean Coal Research and Development inaugurated

With the aim of addressing opportunities and challenges in development of clean coal technologies, Union Minister of Science & Technology Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the National Centre for Clean Coal Research and Development (NCCCR&D) at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru. The NCCCR&D has been launched at IISc. by Department of Science & Technology (DST).

National Centre for Clean Coal Research and Development (NCCCR&D)

It is a national consortium on clean coal research and development led by IISc. The partner of IISc includes IIT- Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati, Bombay, and Hyderabad.

The consortium will work on identifying existing gaps in clean coal technology as major problem being faced by Indian power plants is high level of pollutants and low thermal efficiency.

The new centre would address several critical Research & Development (R&D) challenges towards development of clean coal technologies in tandem with developing supercritical power plant technologies, both at materials and system level.

The centre will also address challenges such as development of low emission combustion and gasification, and achieve high cycle efficiencies with reduced pollutants. IISc. has already set-up an advanced indigenous supercritical CO2 test loop at a laboratory scale.

Significance:

Scientific and collective endeavours like NCCCR&D would enable achievement of an affordable, efficient, and compact reliable clean energy system.

It would help India in achieving international targets and ‘nationally determined contributions’ on climate change which inlcudes-

  • To have at-least 40% of our total requirement of energy to be from clean energy sources by 2030 (of this India have already achieved around 34-35%)
  • Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 33% to 35% by 2030

Target beneficiaries of NCCCR&D: It includes national organisations such as the Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Bharat Heavy Electronics Ltd. (BHEL), Triveni Turbines Ltd and Tata Power.