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Solar Energy in India
Transcript of Solar Energy in India
Edison - proponent of DC, DC innovations
Westinghouse - promoter of AC
Tesla - AC innovator, patents used by WH
Advantages of AC
Transformers can step up or step down AC voltage, enabling power transfer at minimum loss over long distances.
The voltages are stepped up to very high values, hence reducing the current, and this poses minimal risk of shock or electrocution. They are later stepped down to required voltage at homes.
Advantages of DC
Most electronics and appliances work on DC supply, including batteries, fuel cells, laptops, computers, mobile phones and cars (ignition, starter and lights). Renewable energy such as
wind and solar
are also harnessed in the form of DC.
Problems with Solar
One problem with solar, however, is that it is extremely fickle and power fluctuations can vary even over small periods of time, even on a sunny day. But this can be tackled through the use of smart controllers. IIT-Madras is trying to develop them.
Another problem is that solar panels have low efficiency in general, around 10-15%, and require large areas to be covered to generate significant energy output. Solar tracking panels
improve that significantly, but at much greater expense. Sunsaluter: http://www.sunsaluter.com/index.html
Solar panels on rooftops
IITM Push for DC Power
With the advent of solar energy, there is a renewed push globally for direct DC power.
Solar Energy in India
DC devices are far more energy efficient. For instance, a DC motor is 2.5 times more energy efficient than an AC motor, Prof Ashok Jhunjunwala says. A 5-hp AC water pump can be replaced by a one-hp DC water pump and the output of water will still be the same, he says.
Current solar technology allows for a home to be fitted with solar power for all appliances except air conditioners. IITM proposes to supply low power DC to homes to end blackouts since the supply board never needs to shut these 100 W DC lines down.
There is increased efficiency since there is no need to convert AC into DC or vice versa, and the power is transmitted directly without any need for rectification of the AC current.
A 1m x 2m solar panel can provide enough power for one home's daily needs, on average. If bought from certain approved installers, BESCOM will give 30% subsidy on the purchase. But quality of panels may be inferior, and BESCOM will pay less for returned power. On the other hand, buying high quality panels and returning excess power to BESCOM will pay off the investment in about 10 years.
Schematics and Docs