Thursday, January 21, 2016

Impact of the sun

The solar tracker in testing phase.
By now, you all must be knowing about this small project I have been doing at home. If you still are in the dark, please check out these posts I made earlier in this blog, updating on how the work is going on in this project. A grid assisted Solar power generation system that makes the use of maximum available energy by constantly following the sun from Dusk to Dawn, thus, collecting the maximum amount of energy in the process, and making its highest possible utilization.

Why was this needed? : While I had this idea at the back of my head for a longer period, the electrical blackout as a result of the collapse of the Northern Grid some years back brought this idea to the front. In a city like Delhi, where everything depends on electricity, something that we take so much for granted, in fact, our whole lives depend on electricity, which means that we are surrounded by rocks made up of plastic or metal if we don't have electricity around to run them. Particularly, here, the problem is severe. Our supplies of water, for example, depends upon electricity. This gave my idea momentum. This was the main driving force, the inspiration for this project came from numerous other such small and large installations, though, mostly I have seen have been static. Beyond this, ever growing costs of electricity that we have been paying up to the distribution companies over time, has been a matter of concern. Studying about the resources we have, as a part of curriculum in school and college, I realized that we are wasting one of the most abundant sources of energy, the Sunlight.

Thus, I floated the idea of building a grid assisted Solar power generation system for my home, to my parents. As expected, it was opposed over the prohibitive costs, though, no one contested the idea of it's efficacy. So, I took another approach, I chose to try and change their mindset over a period of time, taking small incremental steps to make sure that they all are on board before I take the next big step. Gradually, they all understood, and now I've got everyone's support in this project. Apart from this, I thought it a good idea to try and distribute the costs of such a system over time, so that no one gets a shock when they hear the cost of the entire system at once.

Then, last year, I got this, over the period, singlehandedly, (except some help from my father), I've worked on designs to fit my needs of an alternative power source for my home in Delhi, with no scope to install the system on ground, thus left with some space on the rooftop, which too, doesn't have enough space to spare for installing the panels fixed on the floor, and installing the same on walls is out of question. Not to mention I did not want to waste the sunlight hours having a solar panel fixed in one direction, while the sun was in the other direction. Although I find this idea to be a stupid one, I still wonder what makes so huge corporations and governments invest in these fixed solar panel parks and farms to try and churn out electricity when implementing this much more efficient way of power generation through sun is easier for them, much easier than what it is for me, an individual.

Nonetheless, I know the impact of doing this will be huge, not just for me, but for the others in the neighbourhood, as I know enquiries have already started pouring in about what the stuff on my rooftop is all about, and what do I want to achieve from this. It's just a matter of time that people will understand the importance of my work on this project and  the investment I am doing in these pieces of hardware. Both the social and economic impact of this will be huge. When I sit down to do the Math, I see an astonishing  number cropping up if people start adopting solar installations for their homes, and not just industrial uses. A panel or two on each house's rooftop could just do away with the shortage of electricity, and a planned approach would mean that something like this can be done in a matter of just a couple of years, if not less. A lot less than what it takes to plan, build and operate a Nuclear energy plant, both in terms of price as well as time, and the impact on both, the economy and the environment will be huge.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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