By Solar Times Bureau
Four panels of 250 KWh have been set up on the building
The students of the regional government Industrial Training Institute in the Araku valley, a popular tourist destination in Visakhapatnam district, have set an example for others by finding a solution for their problem by themselves. Frustrated by the frequent power cuts, which was affecting their studies, the students found a way and are tapping solar energy to make up for the shortfall.
The ITI authorities in association with some local industries have installed 5 KWh solar panels on the roof of the administrative office of the ITI to tap solar energy. Four panels of 250 KWh have been set up on the building. Five arms are connected in a series with a capacity of 5 KWh. The project was set up with World Bank aid.
P. Purnachandra Rao, the proprietor of Eastern Chemicals near Vizianagaram, is involved in the programme as he is the chairman of the institute management committee. “A number of local industries are assisting the ITI and also Gayatri Vidya Parishad. It is the first ITI in the region and the second in the State to install solar panels and tap solar energy. It is creating awareness about solar energy among the students and the general public in the region.” he said.
He said solar energy could be tapped to provide lighting facilities in interior tribal villages in the Araku valley, and the students trained in the ITI would be well-equipped to handle the photo-voltaic solar panels and other instruments. “We train them on how to assemble and fabricate equipment, even though the panels have to be bought in the market,” he said and added that there was great enthusiasm among students over the project.
He said the system was installed at a cost of Rs 10-11 lakh, excluding the 30 per cent subsidy provided by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and it will last for 20-25 years. The solar panels are manufactured by Tapan Solar in Rajasthan.
“At Rs 6 a unit, the rate fixed by the State Government for solar energy (excluding incentives), it will result in a saving of Rs 54,000 a year in power bills. It is economical and the other ITIs and educational institutions in the region can emulate the example of Araku ITI,” he said.