A highly fuel efficient, Common Rail Electronic Direct Fuel Injection (CReDI) system is to be developed by Indian Railways for its fleet of diesel locomotives. It is to alleviate the effect of rising fuel prices and increasing pollution from transport sector. The system is expected to save about Rs 500-600 crore annually on the railways fuel bill and reduce emissions by 30 per cent.
Research Development Standard Organisation (RDSO), the research wing of Indian Railways, is in the process of developing the system.
On diesel locomotives, however, this technology is beginning to be implemented world over recently. Indian Railways has taken a global lead in starting development of the CReDI for its fleet of diesel locomotives.
For this purpose, an Indian manufacturer has established a joint venture with a reputed firm from Switzerland for design and development of the system under overall supervision of RDSO.
Final testing of the system will be done at the large bore engine laboratory of RDSO. Fuel savings in the range of 3 to 4 per cent and emissions reductions by about 20-30 per cent are expected. Once the systems are implemented on the complete fleet of locomotives, savings will be about Rs 500-600 crore annually.
In the long-term, complete manufacture, assembly and testing of the CReDI system shall be done in India placing India among the few countries possessing design and manufacturing capabilities for such sophisticated systems for large bore engines like locomotives, marine, trucks and battle tanks etc. Besides Railways many other Industries of India stand to gain from these developments.
These types of systems are being used on all road diesel vehicles including passenger cars and have helped reduce fuel consumption and emissions of harmful pollutants from these vehicles. In the common rail systems, fuel at a high pressure (1600 bars) is injected into the cylinder by using a magnetic valve.
It is possible to have multiple injections in the cylinder thereby reducing stress on the cylinder parts and reduce fuel consumption and emissions at the same time. Common Rail technology has been hailed as break-through invention for diesel engines world over and has been responsible for dramatically reducing the fuel consumption of diesel vehicles.
Use of Common Rail systems has resulted in increasing the population of diesel passengers’ cars in Europe by more than 50%. European emissions laws are considered to be one of the most stringent across the globe.