Kolkata Metro plans Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) for Blue Line by the end of 2024

India’s first metro system is set to achieve another milestone this year, the Kolkata Metro has placed an order for Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), which will be installed on the Blue Line. This innovative system will be the first of its kind in any Indian metro network. The BESS is designed to ensure that stranded trains can be hauled to safety during power outages, enhancing the reliability and safety of the metro service.

More Details:

The Kolkata Metro has been the torch-bearer in introducing new technologies, innovative ideas and running trains under the river in Indian Railways for the first time to provide commuters a fast and comfortable journey. Now it is gearing up to introduce another new technology which would be another first-of-its kind initiative in the country to further ensure commuters safety and improve energy consumption.

Image Credit: Kolkata Metro

What is Battery Energy Storage System: 

  • In order to ensure passengers’ safety in an eco-friendly way, Metro Railway is going to install Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at the Central sub-station of Blue Line very soon.
  • This new system, an amalgamation of inverters and Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Batteries, is capable of doing wonders in case of a sudden power cuts or grid failure.
  • As per the National Programme o­n Advanced Chemistry Cell Battery Storage approved by the Union Cabinet in 2021 with budgetary outlay of more than Rs. 18,000 crores, this scheme has been envisaged in Metro Railway, first time among all Zones of Indian Railways as well as all other Metro systems in India, to strengthen the ecosystem for electric mobility and battery storage.
  • Foreign multinationals like Siemens, Toshiba, Delta and Eaton have already expressed their eagerness to work with Kolkata Metro to implement this ambitious project.

Collaboration with Delta Electronics:

  • After conducting a pre-bid meeting with these companies, an order has been placed through open bidding process to M/s Delta Electronics Pvt. Ltd. o­n 04.05.2024 through open bidding process to install four MW BESS with 6.4 MWh using Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery as energy storage element.
  • Adhering to the norms of Make in India Policy of Govt. of India, this company, which is an Indian subsidiary of M/s Delta Inc. Taiwan has to manufacture the power converter system of the battery in India and LFP battery in Taiwan.
  • After visiting the site, this company has submitted the layout plan o­n 07.06.2024 for approval of Metro Railway authorities.
  • This new system has been designed in such a way that the electricity generated with it can be used to haul passenger packed stranded rakes at 30 km/hr speed from mid-tunnel to the next station in case of any power failure or even National Grid Failure.
  • This is indeed a huge advancement as passenger packed trains won’t have to wait in underground tunnels or o­n viaducts 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.
  • This new system, equipped with green batteries and having a lifespan of around 14 years, will require around 106 sq. metre space o­nly to install.

Image Credit (representational): Kolkata Metro
  • It is going to reduce carbon footprint with better energy efficiency, long life and occupy less space sans health hazards, fire hazards which are associated much more with acidic / alkaline batteries.

Futuristic Approach by Kolkata Metro:

  • Metro Railway engineers have prepared the specification and innovative blue-print to supply 2 MW power generated by this battery from a particular location to any station between Dumdum to Tollygunge of North-South Corridor using a 33 kV ring main system.
  • It has a potential to save the peak hour demand which may help Metro Railway to save Rs. 07 crore in its lifetime. Apart from that it will also ensure power factor improvement which in turn saves another Rs. 06 crore.
  • This battery shall also be used as a storage system at night and then the stored energy can be used in the daytime during peak hours. 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. 
  • Metro Railway authorities are planning to install 07 such BESS of 2 MW each capacity with additional features of Traction Energy Storage System (TESS) in new substations which will be added very soon in Blue Line for betterment of Metro services.
  • It will also facilitate storing of all energy generated during regenerative braking of all the 3-phase rakes. If everything goes as planned, Kolkata Metro is going to be the first Metro in India which will be in possession of BESS by the end of 2024.

Source: Kolkata Metro – Press Release | Image Credit (representational): Integral Coach Factory

Join us for the upcoming 5th Rail & Metro Technology Conclave with 700+ Top Rail & Metro Industry Leaders on 23rd & 24th July, 2024 in New Delhi, India. Register here and participate in the summit.