Nano home says no to power cuts

Nano home says no to power cuts

Bye-bye Bescom...

For those fed up with power cuts in Bangalore, a house in HSR Layout may offer light at the end of a dark tunnel.

The unique nano roof top solar photovoltaic atop the house of Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar Satyanarayanan claims that his house gets power 24x7 through the country’s first nano roof top solar photovoltaic systems (NRTSPS). Apart from meeting the needs of his home, the system produces surplus which is sold to the Bescom, Ravi Shankar says.

The system set up by the IIT post graduate generates over two KW of solar  power using NRTSPS. The surplus supplied to Bescom daily has so far amounted to 2,500 units, since its installation in mid-2011.

“So far the surplus was being supplied to the Bescom grid free of cost. But soon there will be a method of payment from the power utility (Bescom),” says Ravi Shankar.

The system has 12 solar panels imported from Europe, together measuring 2x 20x 25 feet that convert sun’s energy into electricity directly, unlike the regular solar panels that convert the sun’s rays into heat. The system produces more than the need of the Ravi Shankar home, 160 units of power.

“We use this power to electrify entire house and run home appliances like water heaters, microwaves, fans, washing machine, refrigerators and other equipment,” explains Ravi Shankar, an electronics engineer.

A bi-directional energy meter has been fitted to measure the amount of power generated and supply into the grid and to measure consumption. The power generated is stored in maintainence-free VRLA batteries at night, as standby in case of Bescom power cuts. Fitted with remote data monitoring system, the energy generated by the plant, pilferage and other aspects can be monitored from any place through a click of the mouse.

The technology has been tested and certified by Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), Electrical Inspectorate, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and Bescom. “Teams from these organisations visited us at least thrice each to study the system and the process,” said Ravi Shankar.

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has fixed a tariff of Rs 14.50 per unit for roof top solar photovoltaic and other small solar power plants connected to the distribution networks of voltage below 33 KV.

However, the Bescom is said to have communicated to Ravi Shankar that it cannot purchase power at the rate prescribed by KERC, but has offered a tariff of Rs six per unit.

Reacting to the Bescom’s proposal, Ravi Shankar said: “There is a need to ensure bold steps to promote public participation in green initiative and may need to fund the differential amount, considering that the power utilities are buying electricity at a cost of Rs 10 per unit. Since the roof top system generates electricity during peak hours in the day, it reduces Bescom’s peaking problems,” he pointed out.

Ravi Shankar says that if the technology is adopted by houses in Bangalore, the power cuts will not only be thing of past, but the City’s households will be self reliant in terms of power consumption. The panels can become cheaper if imported in bulk, he says.

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