The air in Delhi is becoming increasingly unsafe to an extent that children are not allowed to play outside and burn their energy. They are also the worst affected among everybody as more young children today than ever before have persistent cough and lung diseases.
Student members of the Indian School along with Principal Joshi, under the active guidance of Director Mr. Raisinghani have set an example for the rest of the Delhi Schools by initiating installation of a ‘Solar Power System’. This system caters to the school’s electricity requirements in an eco-friendly manner.
The idea originated in the school when there was much talk about the pollution levels in Delhi. Everyone felt that the school should do its bit and reduce its carbon footprint by installing solar. This was followed by a full-fledged energy audit mapping out the school’s electricity usage pattern. The school first installed a system of 10 kW in July 2014 and on experiencing positive results decided to add 61.2 kW more to off-set their grid usage through solar.
Figure 1: 10 kW pilot solar power plant
The system with total installed capacity of 71.2 kW has been designed to withstand wind loads and corrosion for up to 25 years without taking up much of critical real estate on the roof. The solar panels used are made in India and the inverter is from Austria.
Figure 2: 71.2 kW Solar Power Plant
The school is one of the first few entities in Delhi to get ‘net metering’ capability- this entails installation of a bi-direction meter from BSES which allows the school to export excess electricity generated on Sundays and during vacations to the grid in return for credits. Thus the solar power plant is hard at work even when everyone else is on vacation.
The Indian School monitors the power produced by the solar power system on a screen placed at the reception (see picture below)
The new plant of 71.2 kW will account for at least 65% of the school’s present day electricity consumption. Further, the school will save close to 10 lacs per annum in electricity bills leaving more money for things that matter- such as sport equipment and books.
Most importantly, the system will offset 87 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the first year itself, which is equivalent to the CO2 sequestered by 71 acres of mature forest land. Or seen from a different perspective it offsets the pollution produced by running a passenger vehicle around the Earth’s equator 9 times! The system will offset close to 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over its useful life.
The graph below shows the energy consumption at the Indian School before and predicted after solar installation. Bars below zero line indicate net export to the grid!
The Indian School, among the first few schools to go solar, is setting an example of being a thought leader among the students and neighboring schools. Setting up of the system has also sown seeds of learning among students, who are an integral part of decision making in a school and households, leading to a strong potential of more prospective solar installations. Indian School has done well for the society at large by setting up a solar system.