Kolkata Metro, India’s first Metro has been the torch-bearer in introducing new technologies and innovative ideas in Indian Railways. Kolkata Metro, Asia’s fifth Metro started to chug on the tracks 39 years ago armed with technologies at par with European Metros. Since then, Metro Railway has travelled a long way and set many records and now preparing to start its services under a mighty river like Hooghly very soon. That would be another first-of-its kind initiative in the country.
Metro Railway is not complacent by only extending its wings. Apart from reaching new destinations, it has always given importance to ensure passenger safety in an eco-friendly way. Keeping that tradition going, now Metro Railway is going to install Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at four strategic locations along the entire stretches of North-South Metro Corridor. This new system, an amalgamation of inverters and Advance Chemistry Cell (ACC) Batteries, is capable of doing wonders in case of a sudden power cuts or grid failure and will be installed at Noapara, Shyambazar, Central and Jatin Das Park substations. Ahead of other Indian Metros, Kolkata Metro Railway on 11th of this month floated a tender for commissioning 4 Mega Watt four quadrant inverters using Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery or Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO) batteries as energy storage element. *One of the most significant features of this unit apart from other revenue saving purposes is that it can be used to haul stranded trains at 15- 20 km/hr speed from mid-tunnel to the next station in case of any power failure or even National Grid Failure. Metro Railway engineers have prepared the specification and innovative blue-print to supply battery stored power from a particular location to any station of North-South Corridor using 11 kV ring made of 275 km of cable to haul any such stranded train. At four strategic locations 1 Mega Watt Inverter each shall be placed to convert battery power to AC 3-phase power to serve the purpose.*
This is indeed a huge advancement as passenger packed trains won’t have to wait in underground tunnels or on viaduct for restoration of power supply in case of a disruption of power. Thousands of passengers can be brought to safety with the help of this system. Railway Board has also provided enough funds for smooth execution of this eco-friendly project. These LFP or LTO batteries can be charged at night and used during commercial hours. Specified LFP / LTO batteries will be made as per the National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage which will reduce carbon foot print with better energy efficiency, long life and occupy lesser space as well as without health hazards, fire hazards which are associated much more with acidic / alkaline batteries.
Apart from this, this BESS system will provide 4 MW power to the Metro system which requires around 32 MW power to run trains during peak hours. This would in turn help Metro Railway to purchase less electricity during peak hours. As a result, expenses of Kolkata Metro will dip significantly. This proposed system will also not allow power factor to drop below 0.9 at any time leading to further savings. In case of any fire, this new system will be instrumental to play the role of emergency power source for tunnel ventilation, over the Track Exhaust (OTE) and platform ventilation as well as be an emergency power source for anything at any place .
Kausik Mitra,Chief Public Relations Officer, Metro Railway stated this in a press release.