Belagavadi is a rural village in Karnataka, India which is about 80kms from Bengaluru, 20kms from its nearest town, Magadi and falls on the Kunigal Main Road. Although it is accessible by road, the village is quite remote and is not very well connected by the public transport services.
The village houses about 250 homes, two schools and a community hall. Most of these households fall under low-income or low-middle income categories, who depend mainly upon dairy farming and mango cultivation for a living.
Power Scenario and Solar DC Inverterless:
Even though Belagavadi is grid-connected, it is affected by frequent load-shedding, which
- On an average is about 6 hours a day
- In summers, is usually about 9 hour a day.
In order to offset this acute power shortage, IIT Madras, in collaboration with Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC), India took up the project to power 215 homes with the Solar DC Inverterless technology. Each of these homes have been installed with the Inverterless System, which typically consisted of one 125Wp solar panel, one 1kWh battery, an Inverterless controller unit and DC loads operating on a 48V DC internal distribution line. The DC loads provided on this line included one DC fan, one DC tubelight, two DC bulbs, one DC mobile charger, one DC socket and one remote controller to operate fan and tubelight.
All the installations have been completed by 15 February, 2017 and have been commissioned thereafter. The performance and health of all the installed systems are being monitored remotely, with the data from the Inverterless systems being collected via Bluetooth on mobile phones and synced to a central server.
Today, the Inverterless technology has multiple benefits to the households of Belagavadi. It is
- Acting as an efficient power back up solution
- Saving on their electricity bills along with providing good quality power supply
- Utilizing rooftop solar in the most energy and cost efficient manner
This project has been funded by Sasken Technologies Limited as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and has been executed jointly by IITM and REC. Belagavadi now stands as an example of how India can pro-actively choose to use roof-top solar to draw clean and reliable power, in a way which is extremely affordable. The response coming from Belagavadi, clearly gives us early evidence on how pan-India adoption of Solar DC Inverterless has the potential to completely eliminate India’s power problems and truly transform lives.
Feedback and User Response:
“We do not have to worry about power cuts or kerosene lamps anymore. Because of this, life has become very comfortable”
-Ramaih, a resident of Belagavadi
“This will make a huge difference to my children. They will now have a chance to study even in the nights and will have better lives”
-Rema, Housewife in Belagavadi
“My family can now have the same quality of life as in the city with no power cut”
–Thimmaih, Resident of Belagavadi
Photo Gallery –
Know More about Solar DC Initiative -> Solar DC Initiative
Solar DC (IITM) Website -> SOLARDC.IN
This article is jointly written by Manu from Cygni Energy and Aditya from IITM.