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  • Subject area(s): Engineering
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  • Published on: 7th September 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2

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Climate change is a major threat to the global economy and causes a loss of over $1.2 trillion each year, equivalent to 1.6% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). India in particular is facing severe challenges in reducing energy consumption as promised in the Kyoto Protocol, as well as at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December 2009. India’s energy consumption is expected to rise 132 per cent by 2035, while electricity demand is likely to more than triple in the next 30 years, according to some estimates.

India being one of the top 10 manufacturing countries, and potentially become largest energy consumer in coming decades will have to face increasing pressure to balance economic growth with environmental protection and sustainable use of its resources as a wealthy population consumes more resources and demands a greater quality of life.  Reductions in energy consumption and carbon emissions have become the most important strategic objective of the Indian Government. The Twelfth Five-Year Plan strives to establish sustainable economic development driven by resource conservation and increased environmental protection.  Internationally, the Indian Government has voluntarily agreed to reduce the emissions intensity of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 20–25 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

A shift toward green buildings is particularly important as buildings consume a third of global energy in both developed and developing societies. Buildings consume 22.8% of the total electricity produced in the India alone. This figure will grow exponentially with the India’s plans for rapid urbanization and improvements in living standards. We see energy savings in buildings as a major strategic initiative in realizing the sustainable development goals of the India’s economy.

1.2 Challenges faced by Indian Railways:

It is estimated that the demand of electricity in the Indian Railways will grow in the coming years. As shown earlier in the Figure 1.2, the electricity consumption has increased by 30% over the last nine years, of which the electricity consumption has increased by 33% in the traction areas and 12% in the non -traction areas. Passenger traffic is on the rise and modernisation of non-traction areas potentially increases consumption of energy and water. An enormous energy saving potential exists in the Indian Railways (IR) sector in both traction and non-traction areas. The annual electricity bill of Indian Railways in FY2007-08 was about USD 1.272 billion (INR 76 billion), of which USD 1.071 billion (INR 64 billion), for traction and about USD 0.201 billion (INR 12 billion), for non-traction. The operating costs represented 76% of the total costs. In FY 2007-08, energy cost represented about 24% of the ordinary working expenses of Indian Railways (electricity accounts for 14.6% of the total ordinary working expenses). Thus, the possibility of savings on electricity would have a positive effect on the operating margins of Indian Railways (Source: UNDP-GEF).

To improve service quality, many cities are constructing new stations or are retrofitting old ones. Since 2005, many stations have undergone renovations to improve system function, and increase economic returns. With sustained and rapid development of the national economy and increases in the living standards, passengers are demanding increased comfort and greater services. This has been a particular challenge for the rail industry, especially when it comes to providing a safe, convenient, and comfortable environment in waiting halls needing to accommodate thousands of passengers at once.

1.3 Urgent Need for Intelligent Building Control Systems

Intelligent or smart buildings encompass a broad range of fields and providers, including those related to electrical systems, installation, computer science, and software engineering. Architects should focus more on integrated energy management systems when designing buildings. Most design institutes consider intelligent building design as part of electrical design or separate information technology solutions. In India, the design of the building, lighting, HVAC, security, energy, water systems, and control systems are put together by individual firms and outsourced contractors who do not have incentive or knowledge to integrate these different systems. In India, this lack of integration presents a challenge to green buildings as a platform for integrated systems to work together to increase efficiency, and ensure the comfort and safety of tenants and occupants.

In conclusion, the Indian Railways is undergoing rapid economic transformation and its railway development is even quicker than its GDP growth. The railway station building must be able to support the transition of passenger service to a higher standard of comfort but consume less energy. In the future, more high-speed railway stations with similar design features will be built. Given the current Indian energy consumption level, national strategy shift, and urgent needs for intelligent control, these major drivers will create new and greater requirements for the development of intelligent station buildings. Once intelligent railway station buildings are built, there would be huge potential for monetary savings by integrated reduction in energy consumption and Carbon Emissions.

2. Research Objectives and Scope:

The basic objectives of the study are to:

(i) Support the National Action Plan on Climate Change(NAPCC) in railway station buildings;

(ii) Learn and make use of the advanced technology in international building management;

(iii) Realize energy savings, safety, and comfort in railway station buildings in a cost efficient way from the perspective of energy management.

Through intelligent building control implementation, energy savings of 20% can be expected. The specific objectives are to:

(i) understand international advanced smart building technology and study the applicable cases;

(ii) Conduct research and analysis on domestic railway station energy efficiency;

(iii) Review of established evaluation methods and a baseline for railway station energy consumption;

(iv) Complete economic feasibility analysis on intelligent control technologies; and

(v) Provide recommendations to the government based on end user investigation and policy analysis.

This study considers the following points:

(i) Differences in climate zones require different architecture design specifications, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, and will result in different levels of energy consumption.

(ii) Differences in building scale result in diversified applicability and building occupancy.

(iii) Differences in station function—some are designed as passenger terminals only, some are integrated with commercial services

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