Listen to this article
Global technology company Enphase Energy announced the commissioning of its first pilot project for Karnataka Public School, Kudur, Ramanagara District, Karnataka. Under this program, a 4 kW rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) micro-inverter-based hybrid system to provide uninterrupted power supply to the entire school.
Supported by the Government School management and the Education Department, this is a part of Trinity Care Foundation’s (TCF) Integrated School Educational Infrastructure Development Program (ISEIDP), which forms part of Enphase India’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) related activities in India.
Enphase Energy has equipped the higher primary classrooms with desktops and projectors powered by the rooftop solar system. All the lights, fans, and computer systems are supported in case of power breakdown or failure. In the first step, the entire school was re-electrified with new cables for all the computers, and BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) meters were replaced with the latest digital meters.
The system is expected to generate around 15 units per day, taking care of the school’s power needs, especially for their students in the eighth, ninth, and tenth grades.
With the rooftop solar system, the school would save about ₹4,000 (~$50) on electricity bills every month and provide an uninterrupted power supply to run all their computers, video classes, internet, etc.
Gopalan Nair, Senior Director, Sales at Enphase Energy, explains the design and working of the system. “The conventional solar PV grid-tied system can’t generate energy during the outage. Hence, we needed to build a system with microgrid functionality to help during power outages. As the school operates during the daytime when enough sunlight is available, we wanted to harness maximum solar energy without much use of battery energy to let the battery have more load-handling capability. Further, the technology used in the modules is mono PERC which makes energy generation suitable in any climatic condition compared to other modules.”
Solar power can even charge the batteries when the generation is higher than the connected load; the energy will automatically run through the inverter in the reverse direction and charge the batteries. By designing the system with a microgrid feature, this configuration utilizes the energy which would have been unutilized because of the grid failure.
“Enphase has designed a reliable and safe system to deliver uninterrupted power at government schools and ensure unhindered education in the process,” said Binu Varghese, Director – CSR Non-Profit Consulting & Project Management, Trinity Care Foundation.
Mercom recently hosted the C&I Clean Energy Meet 2022 in Bengaluru, bringing together rooftop solar industry experts and commercial and industry (C&I) end users to discuss the benefits and challenges in the segment. One of the important discussion points highlighted the faster rate of entities can earn a 25-35% return on investment within a year of installing rooftop solar systems.
Milma, the state government-run cooperative dairy plant in Ernakulam, Kerala, installed a 2 MW captive solar project, which helped reduce their power bills from ₹4 million (~$50,471) to ₹1.5 million (~$18,926) every two months.