Solar energy has provided the perfect solution to rising power costs, says K. Rajesh. a Life Insurance Corporation of India employee who switched to solar energy to run his “concept house” at Thalap, near here, almost five years ago.
“The idea was not well received initially, but the results proved otherwise, he says. Mr. Rajesh, with assistance from his supporters, bought four solar panels of 100 watts each from a private firm in Thiruvananthapuram, four batteries of 150 AH (two are sufficient, he says), a dual inverter and a solar charge controller unit from Pune. The equipment cost Rs.1 lakh, one-time investment that brought down electricity consumption to 204 units from the previous 450 units. The batteries have to be charged for eight hours in the daytime, providing for a back-up of more than two hour power.
As proof of his claim, Mr. Rajesh shows the meter reading from the day the unit started functioning in his house in July. Minor alterations such as LED bulbs and a single-door refrigerator brought down power consumption.
It is the message which needs promotion, not a singular achievement, he says.
Mr. Rajesh now plans to install four additional panels in his house that would facilitate charging for longer duration and perhaps the functioning of ACs and cooking oven for short periods. He says such practices can allay worries about spiralling power bills.