Solar – DC: India towards energy independence

Last December, Chennai saw one of the worst floods in recent times. While the whole IIT Madras campus had no power for 75 h, one home was always lit. With only 125 W solar panel and a battery with hardly half a kilowatt hour of usable power, an Inverterless500 deployed at the home provided power for a couple of tube-lights, a fan, a TV (for a short while) and charging of laptops and cell-phones from zero to full power some 20 times each. The strength of solar-DC technology could not be better demonstrated.

Now close to 4000 off-grid homes in desert areas of Jodhpur and Jaisalmar districts, Rajasthan are powered by Inverterless500, synched using bluetooth on cell-phones and remotely monitored at the IIT Madras server. Rural Electrification Corporation (REC), Government of India, is now going full-fledged in deploying such systems in several states including, Assam, Jharkhand, Kerala and Bihar. The systems would soon be available in the open market as well.

This is the beginning. Much more needs to be done if every home in India is to proactively choose to use rooftop solar PV. Only then can the country hope to get 50% of its electrical power from renewable technologies. In the process, India could become a technology leader in DC power in the world.

Read the full article in Current Science

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