Solar panels at ‘The Address Casa Mia’ apartments offer a new way to dent power bills, writes Vishnu Vijayakumar
The use of solar energy has been a topic of discussion in Kerala for quite a long time now.
The State has been trying to change its way of using energy into a more efficient and feasible way. The power consumption has been high in Kerala and people are constantly in search of ideas that could lower their power bills. Solar power came as an answer to the continuous queries. It gives the people the luxury of having uninterrupted availability of power as well as a way to dent the power bills. People with individual homes have an easy way of installing solar panels at their roof top to enjoy the benefits of solar energy. But the case with apartments that do not have free space to install solar panels was different. It was not an easy task to install solar panels after buying an apartment in a multi-storeyed building because it requires the consent of all the other people in the particular building. The installation of the panels could be done only at the roof top,which is a common space. But things are changing, as many builders are now constructing their projects with solar panels installed for each apartment.
Apartments with solar energy was not an idea that was common but with the realisation of the fact that solar energy is the way to the future, the builders are making a serious step towards the installation of solar panels on roof tops of every apartment. It is said that solar panels would generate around 3.5-4 units of power on a typical day. Even on a rainy day with an overcast conditions which is almost rare, it could generate up to 1.5-2 units power. That is on an average, installing a solar panel could generate over 1,000 unit of power in a year for each apartment. The use of solar energy requires led lights and energy efficient fans at every apartment to guarantee maximum utilisation of the solar energy.
The process of installation is challenging and a bit costly, since it needs a well-planned and designed attempt to generate the power without energy loss, as the panels generate DC current also. Solar panels not only give the customers an uninterrupted power supply but also make a clear difference of 50-60% in their power bills. “With availability of government subsidy, it is easier and cost efficient to install solar panels at individual houses but, installing these panels at apartments is more challenging and costly. Even though the cost of construction is bit high it is an innovative and useful idea to provide the customers with solar power,” says Arun V.R., who is the director of Address Builders, which made a benchmark by making their first project ‘Casa Mia,’ one of the first apartment projects in Kerala with solar power as primary energy source.
Santhosh Sreenivasan, chairman of the Address Builders, testifies the benefits of solar energy with his experience of using it for almost five years. He says with ample backup storage solar energy could come in handy even on rainy day. He dismisses the worry of the customers about the use of solar power in rainy and overcast conditions. The low maintenance cost is an advantage with solar panels, as the storages batteries have a longer life and requires maintenance only in every six months says Sajayan, Director of Hive Solar. Solar energy is definitely the power source for the future and this fact makes more builders come up with projects with solar power as primary source of energy. With proper planning and foresightedness, solar energy could be used on a much larger scale making an effective change in the power bills of the customers and the power consumption of the State.
Builders are now constructing their apartment projects with solar panels installed.