DMRC to install vertical solar panels between Jamia and Okhla Metro stations
The officials added the pilot will help assess whether these two-sided solar panels are more effective than conventional ones and whether they can double up as noise barriers
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) plans to install vertical solar panels on either side of the elevated 0.8km-long stretch between Jamia Millia Islamia and Okhla Vihar Metro stations of the Magenta Line, officials said Wednesday, adding the pilot will begin from August after the tender process is completed.
The officials added the pilot will help assess whether these two-sided solar panels are more effective than conventional ones and whether they can double up as noise barriers. To be sure, the Delhi Metro passes several densely populated areas in the Capital, and noise barriers would effectively prevent sound and vibrations from travelling too far into residential pockets.
According to officials, bifacial solar panels are installed vertically unlike conventional rooftop panels, and so even with the direction of the sunlight changing throughout the day, at least one side of the panels is able to generate electricity.
“On the basis of an initial study and evaluation, the Jamia Millia to Okhla Vihar Metro section of the Magenta Line was identified for the installation of these vertical solar panels, considering parameters such as shadow-casting obstructions, possible energy yield,noise reduction analysis, vibration and wind load, along with possible installation and maintenance constraints,” said Anuj Dayal, principal executive director, corporate communications, DMRC.
While DMRC has currently installed solar panels that can generate 50MW of energy on its network so far, such vertical installations have the potential to generate another 60MW of energy across the NCR. Currently, DMRC operates a Metro network of approximately 390km comprising 286 stations.
Dayal said the aim of the pilot is to install vertical solar photovoltaic (PV) modules on both sides of the Metro viaduct to enhance the generation of renewable energy to meet the energy requirements of the Metro’s elevated corridors. “We also aim to assess whether they can help in noise reduction by acting as noise barriers,” he said.
Vertical panels with the capacity to generate 100 kWp in total will be installed as part of this pilot. Officials, however, said installation will be challenging as they will get only a small time slot of around three hours during non-revenue hours at night to set them up.
Once installed, officials will test the power generation capacity of these panels and their efficacy in handling strong winds and vibrations generated by the Metro trains. They said they will also consult subject experts and global practices before installing these panels to ensure reflections off these panels do not distract vehicular traffic underneath.
“This will help validate the design. It can then be replicated across more of the Metro network,” the Metro spokesperson said.
According to experts, bifacial vertical panels are gradually gaining more attention, as they can generate more electricity as compared to conventional rooftop panels. “While the potential to generate energy is more, the cost to install is high at present. As more people adopt these panels, the overall cost will come down,” Binit Das, deputy programme manager, renewable energy, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said.