Railways keen on using Kaveri engines developed by DRDO

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by JAISWAL, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. JAISWAL

    JAISWAL Senior Member Senior Member

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    Railways keen on using Kaveri engines developed by DRDO: Parliamentary Committee - The Economic Times


    NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways has shown keen interest in the Kaveri engine, which is being developed for fighter aircraft, to power its trains, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has told a Parliamentary Committee.

    "A request has come from the Indian Railways to know that whether Kaveri engines can be used for powering locomotives," DRDO told the Standing Committee on Defence.

    In its report tabled in Parliament last week, the Committee said the DRDO has plans of producing Kaveri engine in large number in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

    DRDO officials told PTI that the Railways were showing keen interest in the programme as gas-turbine engines were the best and most fuel efficient.

    "Though the engine is being developed for fighter aircraft, it can also be used on other platforms such as ships and heavy vehicles," they said.

    Kaveri engine is being developed for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and for the future ventures of the DRDO in the field of aeronautics at its Bangalore-based lab Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GRTE).

    The engine recently successfully completed its first test-bed flight test in Russia and has completed other stages of development, including component testing, safety tests, ground based and endurance tests.

    The engine has been put through a series of more such tests both in Russia and GTRE facility to prove its reliability, airworthiness and safety.

    In the last two decades, DRDO has has spent close to USD 455 million on development of the Kaveri engine.

    The indigenous fighter aircraft engine programme was first started in 1986 but suffered delays and cost over-runs due to the technology denial regimes in the 90s.
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Gas turbine locomotive

    A Gas turbine locomotive is a locomotive powered by a gas turbine. The majority of gas turbine locomotives have had electric transmission but mechanical transmission has also been used, particularly in the early days. The advantage of using gas turbines is that they have very high power-to-bulk and power-to-weight ratios. The disadvantage is that gas turbines generally have lower thermal efficiency than diesel engines, especially when running at less than full load.

    [​IMG]
    A 44-ton 1-B-1 experimental gas turbine locomotive built in 1952 for testing by the U.S. Army Transportation Corps. Twin 502-2E gas turbines produced 150 hp each. Located at the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis.

    Source: Gas turbine locomotive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Gas turbine-electric locomotive

    A gas turbine - electric locomotive, or GTEL, is a locomotive that uses a gas turbine to drive an electric generator or alternator. The electric current thus produced is used to power traction motors. This type of locomotive was first experimented with during the Second World War, but reached its peak in the 1950s to 1960s. Few locomotives use this system today.

    [​IMG]
    UP 18, preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

    Source: Gas turbine-electric locomotive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  4. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    Looks like Kaveri is helping every other project other than what it was supposed to help. First Navy warships and now trains..:lol:. Wonder when will it power what it was supposed to power.
     
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  5. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Interesting Infos, thanks for sharing !
     
  6. pack leader

    pack leader Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    this is a bad idea powering a train with jet engine will make it the most expensive
    and maintenance intensive transportation system in the world
    somebody got really drunk before suggesting this

    all modern trains use diesel - electric or full electric motors for trains
    such engines are extremely reliable
     
  7. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Does Turbine Engines gives a speed jump compare to other engines ?

    If so than we may know why railway is interested..
     
  8. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    ^^

    The earlier post talked about locomotives that would not use jet power to propel the trains but would use jet power converted to mechanical or electrical energy to propel trains. Direct jet propulsion, was, however tried and have remained experimental since.

    Examples:

    M-497 (USA):

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    ER22 (USSR):

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Rocket-Powered 'Aerotrain'

    Rocket-Powered 'Aerotrain'

    This is probably not very relevant to Indian Railways, but is relevant to the context and therefore, I am sharing it here:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  10. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    Where in the locomotive will the jet engines be mounted? Cannot be mounted on the top as in M-497 since that would interfere with the overhead transmission lines. Since most of the rail routes in India are electrified, there'll be very few places where this will work without issues

    Not sure if it's wise or technically feasible to install them on the sides or even inside.
     
  11. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    A jet engine powering a train is simply absurd, especially in the case of a country like India ! What US & USSR did is nothing compared to what India can do: outlandish experiments that may never have any future practical use, especially for a developing country.

    I think Railways is looking at some kind technical support from DRDO and suggesting them whether they can make indigenous diesel engines, since DRDO has access to some cutting edge engineering and technical processes which the Railways doesn't.
     
  12. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Yes, i understood that, But what i am asking does those turbine engines give any kind of extra power compare to existing electrical and diseal engines, speed upto 190km something ?
     
  13. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Kunal, the existing electrical traction motors are very advanced and are capable of very high speeds, e.g the French TGV or the the Bullet train.
    No purpose will be solved with this experiment. This just looks like one more slide added by DRDO in their presentation to show some advancements made on the project.
     
  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Of course gas-turbines give more power compared to weight. Turbine engines do not have a bi-directional motion but unidirectional motion, which is also a great advantage.

    Compare a piston-cylinder IC engine with a Wankel Engine. In the former case, the pistons move back and forth (reciprocating), but the Wankel Engine simply rotates in one direction, thus making higher RPM feasible. Turbine engines can also achieve higher RPM compared to piston-cylinder engines and even higher than Wankel Engines.




    Advantages of gas turbine engines
    • Very high power-to-weight ratio, compared to reciprocating engines;
    • Smaller than most reciprocating engines of the same power rating.
    • Moves in one direction only, with far less vibration than a reciprocating engine.
    • Fewer moving parts than reciprocating engines.
    • Low operating pressures.
    • High operation speeds.
    • Low lubricating oil cost and consumption.
    • Can run on a wide variety of fuels.
    Disadvantages of gas turbine engines

    • Cost is very high
    • Less efficient than reciprocating engines at idle speed
    • Longer startup than reciprocating engines
    • Less responsive to changes in power demand compared to reciprocating engines
    Source: Gas turbine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
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  15. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    The jet engine will not be outside but it will be inside the locomotive. It will be a turbo-shaft not a turbo-jet. It will be jet engine, yes, but the jet of expanding air-gas will not be used to push the train forward, rather the spinning shaft will be used to generate electricity which will run the traction motors. This is just like a helicopter where the spinning shaft is used to run the rotors. Read more about the Union Pacific locomotive I already posted.

    I beg to differ. It is not absurd. It has already been put into practice with a long operational history. Read more about the Union Pacific locomotive I already posted.

    Reference:
    Union Pacific Gas Turbine Locomotives

    Video:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  16. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    On Indian part does WAG-7/9 gives the same preform ace ?

    I read on new coaches for Rajdhani / Shatabdi and Durant that it can sustain 150kmph, older once can only go 110kmph..

    Perhaps instead of Bullet train they might working on 200kmph coaches and a new engines specifically for Indian Environment ?
     
  17. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    IIRC RDSO had successfully tried speeds in excess of 150 kmph with the New locos and the LHB coaches. The main problem is the condition of the tracks and the traffic on the tracks. For hi speed trains IR will have to have dedicated hi speed tracks, on which the goods train do not run.
     
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  18. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Yes, you are correct.

    If I may add, WAP-6 (upgraded) is capable of speeds upto 170 kmph. Wikipedia says that at a trial conducted by Indian Railways, WAP-7 clocked a speed of 177 kmph.

    References:
    [IRFCA] Indian Railways FAQ: Diesel and Electric Locomotive Specifications
    Indian locomotive class WAP-7 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
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  19. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Just one note:
    WAG locomotives are not meant for passenger services. WAP locomotives are. The last letter says it all. G stands for Goods, P stands for Passenger and M stands for Mixed.
     
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  20. rvjpheonix

    rvjpheonix Regular Member

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    I am not so sure about it being too expensive. If we can create a dedicated goods corridor for these engines to run without many stops. Because of the higher to power weight ratio it can pull more goods effectively in a single haul effectively reducing the the cost by reducing the number of services required. Also these engines will be extremely viable in the northeast sector in traversing the hills providing a much needed boost to their economy.
     
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  21. Keshav Murali

    Keshav Murali Back to studies :( Senior Member

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    I've travelled on old Shatabdi several times, maximum it can achieve is 120 kmph according to the ticket collector.
     

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