If you have to tap power from the Sun through Solar Panels School is just the right place to begin from. Not only do the children get more “light hours” but they also learn how such a technology work and also how it is installed.
The school also gets an opportunity to educate the students of how the system works, the various circuits, the panels and battery, taking care of these equipment’s and the cleaning and maintenance process. The best part of this electrification is that the students would get more time on the school computer else if there is power cut the computer lab also stays shut for the time.
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission has also planned to install Solar Panels on top of Hospitals too so that they may be able to run their critical care equipments even during power cuts. The government schools would get a 10kW panel while the hospitals will get a 25kW panel each. The school and hospital projects totals to a cost of Rs 13.14 crore.
Five hospitals that have been shortlisted for the project include Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, Deen Dayal Upadhay Hospital, Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital, Guru Nanak Eye Centre and Dr Jagjivan Ram Hospital (totaling 25kW x 5=125kilowatt).
The panels have already been installed in four government schools—Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalayas in Mayur Vihar Phase I, Mangolpuri, Jwalapuri and RK Puram, Sector 12—which will produce 10 kilowatt each, (totaling about 40kilowatt).
Installation has been completed in 20 schools (totaling 20 kilowatts) and the rest will be done in two years’ time. The full project cost of 1.4 million rupees (around $2 million) is being funded by the central government.
These are not isolated instances. Thousands of schools across the country are shifting towards renewable energy. In Kerala the state government has been actively promoting both solar and bio-mass energy under a scheme called the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project, which promotes renewable energy within urban planning, each school will benefit from 1 kW solar panels and a biogas plant.
In total there are 4,000 government-run schools in Kerala urban areas. That itself make it 4,000 kW solution. When combined with a BioGas solution in each of the 4,000 School it leads to great savings in electricity and LPG costs. It also leads to profit to the School.
The biogas plants have a dual purpose. They manage the waste the schools generate by processing it for energy, and they also save on the cost of cooking gas.
The biogas – estimated to burn for two to three hours daily – will be used to prepare a daily free lunch for students.
The scheme was launched in January, and several schools have already received their equipment.
Vidya Mandir School is just another school in India that has been experiencing long power outages. But the the alumni batch of students who completed Class XII in 1987, who celebrated their 25th year reunion in 2012, decided to take matter in their own hands and were eager to make meaningful, lasting contribution for the welfare of their Alma Mater. They wanted their school to never forget them so they decided to give back light to the school that had enlightened them.
This brilliant batch of 1987 alumni decided to invest in a Solar Power System to provide power to the High School building, to take care of a part of the power requirement of the School. One of the Alumni, Founder of a Solar Energy Company (U-Solar), created the detailed project proposal.
The Solar Power System installed on the High School building shall deliver far reaching benefits to the School in terms of relief from power cuts, savings in power bills, contribution to environmental sustainability, and the School’s image as an exemplary institution. What an outstanding bunch of students any school would want.
Taking into these 3 projects generated about 125+20+8+4,000 = 4,153 Kilowatts there are many more to come in the other states of India.
Batteries – are usually the most expensive of the system. Its best if you can do without them… they are a mess as they have to be replaced over a period. Schools can eliminate batteries as most of the schools work during the day time. In case they need more power they can us it from the grid this would make it more cost effective than using batteries.Things to note when switching to Solar Panels.1. Replace all lamps to bright LED lamps & LED Tubes (these cost a little more than the CFL price). Lights should individually have a timer to switch off every 8 hrs.
2. Switching to DC fans are better and preferred especially while constructing a new school building. But the existing AC Fans can have a timer that switches off every 1hr. In case somebody forgets to switch off the fans they don’t keep going the whole day & night. This is very serious as fans consume the most energy in a school.
3. Switch all Computer monitors to LED Monitors.
4. Switch any CCVT or Television to LED TVs.
5. The battery packs cost almost half the total cost. It is not necessary to install the battery system. Installation of more solar panels around 25kW without battery makes more sense than installation of 10 kW with battery because:
a. Schools mostly work during the day time. And lights can be switched off during night time.
b. Timings may be adjusted to suite the system i.e. the schools can work between 9AM to 5PM when the sun is up.
c. Most Indian Schools do not have power hungry equipments like Air-conditioners & water coolers/refrigerators and those who do have obviously have the money to spend on battery system too.
6. All cooking or food warming should be done on electrical appliances or biogas. LPG should be avoided at all cost as they are very dangerous and expensive. This will make the School much safer as a whole.
As more and more schools switch to clean energy the load on the grid will be reduced. This will also teach our future generation to be known as the Solar Generation. These will be a generation who will never be found to run out of power unlike ours who were constantly under stress of the power going out. Luckily for those in the Cities like Mumbai had hardly ever faced much power cuts. The only power cuts I can recall in Mumbai were those “engineered” by Enron to coerce the local Government to buy their overpriced dollar based gas/electricity deal.