His solar system

Meet D. Suresh who has revolutionised the way he lives by using solar energy for his daily needs

Published - May 01, 2015 07:33 pm IST

WHEN THE SUN SHINES Suresh has solar panels to produce renewable energy and a vast collection of plantsthat adorns his terrace. Photo: R. Ravindran

WHEN THE SUN SHINES Suresh has solar panels to produce renewable energy and a vast collection of plantsthat adorns his terrace. Photo: R. Ravindran

Suresh, popularly known as Solar Suresh, lives his life the renewable way — his home is completely solar-powered. He starts his mornings by brewing coffee on a stove which runs on bio-gas and has the water for his bath heated by a solar-powered heater. A resident of Kilpauk, D. Suresh is a graduate of IIT-Madras and IIM-Ahmedabad and has worked as a marketing executive in textile companies where he rose to become the MD of a textile group. He is currently the general manager of a company.

He got the name Solar Suresh after he installed a 3 KW solar power plant three years ago, which is the source of electricity for his home. “This idea came to me when I visited Germany; I saw that people there had roof-top solar plants, which made me think if a country that has little sunshine can be successful in implementing solar plants, then why not India, especially Chennai, where solar energy is available to us in abundance.” He met large companies for help in installing a solar plant but they weren’t interested in small projects, and he had to get the help of a local vendor.

“There is no separate wiring required and installation takes just a day; the basic maintenance requires cleaning of panels once in six months only,” he explains. “I live in an independent house with 11 fans, 25 lights, a refrigerator, computer, water pump, TV and an AC powered by the solar plant. I haven’t faced power cuts at all.” He charges the battery during the day which supplies power to the house right through the night. The solar plant depends on the ultra-violet rays of the sun and not the intensity of the heat; therefore, it works even during the rainy season.

Apart from this, he also has a biogas plant, a rain water harvesting system and a kitchen garden. He collects the rain water from the terrace and purifies the water through an organic filtration plant which consists of layers of pebbles, charcoal and sand, after which the water is stored in the sump and used for various purposes. “I see a lot of water stagnating in and around my place, for which I have also installed 15-inch slotted pipes into the ground through which the stagnant water is collected and this recharges the ground water,” he adds.

The food is cooked using the biogas plant and the gas is produced from leftover food.

“To produce gas, the biogas plant requires organic waste i.e. cooked, uncooked, leftover food and vegetable peels which provide 20 kg of gas,” he adds.

“In the mornings, I spend time in my kitchen garden, where I organically grow about 20 types of vegetables. The slurry leftover from the biogas plant is used in the kitchen garden.”

“These are old concepts which people have now forgotten; people just need to be aware that they can live a self-sufficient and comfortable life without being dependent on others. I have shared my experience with various colleges and organisations,” he adds.

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