Friday, 22 March 2013

Solar Energy in India

Solar panels on the roof of our house,
Tiruvannamalai, India
As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, we have gone solar, so to speak here in rural India. Last month we installed solar panels on the roof of our house in Tiruvannamalai. The main reason is the lack of power in Tamil Nadu due to frequent power cuts. Although big cities like Chennai have only two hours per day with no power, the rural areas in the state can experience cuts of up to twelve hours per day. Last year after we had a cyclone, we were without power for nearly a week. Another time, when a transformer blew up, it took over a week to regain power to the area. We were able to go into town to check our email and charge our cell phones, but there were no lights or fans for days so working from home was impossible.

Although we have an inverter and backup batteries, they only last for eight hours, which isn't long enough if there is an extended cut. Since summer is setting in and the sun is hot (!) these days, the solar panels are getting a real workout but have performed wonderfully since they were installed.
Solar panels on roof
Sunlit Future, based in Auroville, provides great customer service checking in with us the first week to make sure everything was up and running. They said that their business is booming all over India so the future looks bright for solar power options here. They provide a free consultation and will give estimates on what type of solar system you need based on your power requirements.

For more information, visit their website at

Solar street light on the compound
Solar water heater installed by a neighbor 2 years ago