Prag Group of Industries: Redefining Mobility through Innovation in Railway Air-Conditioning & Thermal Management

Heat Exchangers & HVAC are a crucial part of any industry today, particularly for the public transportation sector. With over 20 million passengers per day, sweltering temperatures and high humidity, passenger comfort is a major concern for the Indian railways. However, while most mobile HVAC markets have gauzed rapid technological advancements over the past decade, the Indian Railways’ has for the most part, stagnated technologically with visibly dated passenger coach HVAC designs.

Prag Group of Industries headquartered in Lucknow, is well known for designing and manufacturing a range of advanced engineering products for railway applications. Prag was the first to design and manufacture completely indigenous heatexchangers for diesel electric locomotives, which were introduced in 2004 and have been in use for more than 15 years.

Subsequently, with heat exchanger design and thermal management as their core strength the group has over the years introduced several technological break throughs in the rail HVAC and thermodynamic segment including thermal insulation for locomotive compressor and exhaust systems highcapacity industrial chillers, water coolers and driver cab and passenger coach air conditioning.

By leveraging their years of experience in thermodynamics, Prag’s proficient engineering team is able to custom design heat exchangers and bespoke air conditioners catering to a range of customer requirements. “Our HVAC design process begins with a detailed study of the operating environment, car volume, solar loading, peak passenger traffic, and airflow within the passenger compartment” says D.K. Srivastava, Technical Director. He further adds, “Some of our important innovations include the first introduction of Cab Air Conditioning in Mumbai Suburban EMUs and upgraded coach HVAC for the prestigious Vande Bharat Express”.

Revolutionary Thermodynamic Solutions
To fill the technological void in onboard railway air-conditioning in India, Prag group tied up with a renowned European designer of tailored railway HVAC in 2014 and, in 2016, introduced India’s first ever split type air-conditioning system for onboard railway applications. The design, which allowed for retrofitment in existing diesel electric locomotives, was duly approved by the Research, Designs, and Standards Organization of the Indian Railways and the first working prototype was show cased at the Innorail India Exhibition in 2016.
Prag was also the first to introduce onboard water purifiers cum coolers in Indian railways, with several units running successfully today providing clean potable, cold drinking water to passengers.
Gokul Jain,CEO
Prag's World-Class HVAC Manufacturing Facility in Lucknow

In 2017, Prag went on to design and manufacture the first ever driver cab air conditioning for Electrical Multiple Units(Mumbai Local). The unique tower type system was designed to maximize operating performance with minimum solar radiation and optimized air circulation. The product includes an optional microprocessor based control unit with LCD display/Touchscreen. Today, more than 100 trains are running successfully with Prag Koldform Cab HVAC Systems across the country.

Prag's proficient engineering team is able to custom design heat exchangers and bespoke air conditioners catering to a range of customer requirements

With a history of break through innovations in railway HVAC, Prag was given the opportunity to design and manufacture the passenger coach air conditioning for Indian Railways’ prestigious Vande Bharat Express India’s first self propelled trainset. The Prag Kold form 8T Roof Mounted HVAC Unit was developed in record time and is the first major upgrade in Indian Railways’ passenger coach air-conditioning in over a decade. Some salient features include:
•Superior Heat Exchangers made with Copper Fins and Copper Tubes
•Enhanced Cooling Capacity-8.0 TR(28.4 kW)based on 50°C ambient
•Flame-Retardant Leak-proof bellows made with meta aramid fabric
•Inbuilt smoke detectors at incoming fresh air as well as return air inlets
•Built-in emergency inverter with transformer activating emergency blower

The group’s future plans include introducing the first smart HVAC with inbuilt intelligent climate control and integrated air purification and odor removal technology for which the company has recently tied up with Camfil (Sweden) the world leaders in clean air solutions. The company also plans to install standalone maintenance free solar powered water purifierscum cooler units in various railway platforms and other public areas as part of their CSR. “Being in the water filtration and cooling business, this initiative is a natural extension of our capabilities in service of our society”, says Gokul Jain, CEO.