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Old 22nd July 2008, 22:34   #1
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Question Power cuts: alternative power sources

hi Frenz,

As you all know, Chennai, TN goes through hours of power cuts in the coming months, and this will be the same through out the coming years. Why not we discuss some alternative power sources like Wind/Solar.

Does any one know about Solar panels, and how it can be used at home?
Please add your thoughts, and what is all possible in parts of TN or any south states, that suffer power shut!
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Old 22nd July 2008, 22:47   #2
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Chennai has excellent potential for Solar.
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Old 22nd July 2008, 22:50   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrous View Post
Chennai has excellent potential for Solar.
Has solar become a cost effective option? Even at current oil prices?
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Old 23rd July 2008, 01:28   #4
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Well Chennai is nothing compared to Bangalore. Already there's unofficial load shedding of a couple of hours every day. There's no fixed time. Can get cut at any time. Weekends are worse. Solar wouldn't work to a great extent here.

Chennai has a lot of potential on Solar. Wind energy is another one. Being close to the coast, one could setup windmills. However corrosion could be a problem it seems.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 07:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csentil View Post
Well Chennai is nothing compared to Bangalore. Already there's unofficial load shedding of a couple of hours every day. There's no fixed time. Can get cut at any time. Weekends are worse. Solar wouldn't work to a great extent here.

Chennai has a lot of potential on Solar. Wind energy is another one. Being close to the coast, one could setup windmills. However corrosion could be a problem it seems.
yeah, Chennai has an unlimited potential to unlock the power of Solar energy. Many must have noticed the flow of Free HOT Water from your over-head tanks as early as at 8.00 AM

Have anyone used Solar-Cells installed on terrace, please let us know how it fares, and what all it can power? [TV, Fans, Lights, Refrig?? and for how long]

cheers,
MS
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Old 23rd July 2008, 07:57   #6
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To save on on power usage for Lighting:

Sun rises at 6AM & sets at 6PM. So start your day at 6 in the morning, wind up all business activities by 6 in the evening and retire to bed by 8PM. So full utilization of natural light and very minimal use of electric light. If you change all your light to solar, then you can save more current.

To save on on power usage for Hot Water:

Install Solar Water heating - get hot water at anytime of the day.

To save on power usage for Cooking:

Use LPG. Also you can invest in Solar Cooker.

To save on on power usage for Computers:

Dispose PCs, buy laptops. Install a dynamo (converts mechanical energy to current). Workout on dynamo produces enough power to charge laptops & mobiles.

To save on on power usage for Fans/ACs:

Analyze the wind properties at your place. Redesign the room so as to allow maximum flow of air through the windows. Install filters at the windows to filter out dust. So you get cool, clean air and you can discard the AC.

Note: Please tell you electric power usage pattern. We will suggest to reduce the consumption.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 09:18   #7
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Buy a generator, thats the only financially viable alternate power source. Solar etc., look good on paper and at page 3 parties, but unless govt subsidises cost of solar panels/batteries etc., most people cannot afford to go solar. We don't have regrid tech available too, so making money out of surplus power is not viable too!
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Old 23rd July 2008, 09:30   #8
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My father in law is in the solar panel business. I had enquired with him,and he stated that it is prohibitively expensive to run an entire household on solar power. The major cost coming from the batteries. So far all his installs have been in remote hills where the kseb is yet to reach. If it is just emergency lighting for the powercut period, an inverter would do a good job.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 11:35   #9
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I was wondering why the title was "Chennai suffers power cuts..." !! It could be retitled as "Chennai/Bangalore suffer...."

For those of you not aware of the situation, let me explain, Bangalore city is undergoing major power crisis right from 15th July 2008, most of the reasons blamed to some major line fault. Whatever is the true reason, general public knows only few things; Bangalore city is not getting enough power supply in line with the demand. There is a regular power failure for 30/40 minutes of almost every 2 hours. Most businesses are depending on great UPS/Invertor power back ups, as shops and small time bussines depends on generators. Solar water heaters are mostly common in many newly constructed buildings. Many traffic lights and other common power related stuff depend on solar panels too. But overall dependability on a solar power source could be just below 5% of the total power requirement.

Now the worst hit situations on my daily needs;

*I couldnt use my debit/credit card at some shopping malls
*I couldnt draw money from some ATMs due to its power back up ran flat after extended hours of usage.
*I am waiting for a home loan to be disbursed since 10 days (was supposed to be given in 24 hours), ICICI stating their systems are not accessible due to power failures.
*I cant use my computers for more than 2 hours max, just because there is not enough time to full-charge my UPS.
*Cant use goodknight or similar machines in the nite, thereby inviting jumbo mosquitoes with dangerous viruses.
*Many more issues that would run into few pages.

Coming to the solution: If extended power failures are to hunt the metros, where do we stand with a solar power back up ? I have seen only household solar panels that can provide hot water and few solar lights. Does anyone know of solar back up for computers ? If at all there is one, how affordable it is ? Middle East (remote areas far from city) I have seen huge solar panels (size of 60/40 plots) which could back up a full fledged office for 12 hours. I use APC Back-UPS R S 1500 with extra battery pack, which gives me 3 hours back up for desktop pc. Once the battery is drained out, there is not enough time to full-charge. Thats making me think of a strong back up. So far nothing has come up. Inputs greatly appreciated !

Last edited by shajufx : 23rd July 2008 at 11:40.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 11:35   #10
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When you say 'expensive', you are comparing with 'over-utilized' or 'non-renewable' sources of energy. Idea is to use renewable source of energy. Cost is not the factor.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 13:38   #11
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Power cuts in Bangalore are now a way of life.

Not having continous power for even 2 hrs and the cuts range from 1 hr to 3hrs!!! The worst, as said by Shaju, is when the power is cut at 10PM, especially when you have a child!

This has indirectly lead to shortage of diesal since most of the companies are running on generators!
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Old 23rd July 2008, 13:42   #12
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The power cuts are not just confined to Chennai - Kerala and Karnataka too have them.

How about switching off your TV from 6 to 10 PM? Your better halves / GFs will be happy with you, since you will be taking them ot for a ride during that time!!!
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Old 23rd July 2008, 13:49   #13
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Lets see if we can calculate the expenses to use wind/solar. The usage should be for a period of 3 or 4 hours during powercuts.

Read that 8 sq mts of solar array can provide 150W of power in moderately clear skies in India.

Last edited by Technocrat : 24th July 2008 at 13:00.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 14:02   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabloo View Post
When you say 'expensive', you are comparing with 'over-utilized' or 'non-renewable' sources of energy. Idea is to use renewable source of energy. Cost is not the factor.
It may not be factor for some, but for industrial level production, companies need to sell at a price which consumers are willing to pay. Price is a function of technology, capital costs, operating costs, and demand/supply. Recently IEA published a study `Energy Technology Perspectives 2008: Scenarios and Strategies till 2050'. Go through that for more information.
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Old 23rd July 2008, 15:27   #15
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Lightbulb Please share more info friend...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rippergeo View Post
My father in law is in the solar panel business. I had enquired with him,and he stated that it is prohibitively expensive to run an entire household on solar power. The major cost coming from the batteries. So far all his installs have been in remote hills where the kseb is yet to reach. If it is just emergency lighting for the powercut period, an inverter would do a good job.
As your FILaw is in business he may be a good lead to understand Solar Energy in this thread. Expensive is agreed, but we need some figures, please enquire and post here.

How many cells would we need? for running 2 Fans, and 2 Tube Lights, 1 TV or Radio, 1 Refrig. - how many hours of charge needed? How long can it run the above mentioned?

I guess we wont get true figures from dealers/sales men.

Wind: I have seen some wind mill type setups in places like Kanyakumari/Nagerkoil where the wind power is good. So what does this setup require?

1. A Wind mill [the fan unit]
2. A generator
3. A storage unit? - I'm not sure what this is technically called.
then some installation and wiring I believe. Some one who knows, please add some info here.

cheers,
MS
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