KOLKATA: When the power tariff is touching the roof, it is time to go solar. A government housing complex towering over Dhakuria Lake is showing the way to have immunity against power tariff fluctuations. Avijit Ghosh, an energy technologist with Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), who conceived the plan and installed the solar power plant fighting against many odds on the rooftop of a housing apartment meant for the scientists of council of scientific and industrial research (CSIR). After a year of installation, Ghosh is elated with its performance and finds its worth emulating on every rooftop of the city. "The tariff of power generated from the fossil fuel like coal and petroleum products is bound to go up with the steady depletion of the reserve, which might last another five decades. So, rooftop solar power plant is no more a fancy of a few eccentrics," said Professor Indranil Manna, director IIT-Kanpur, who as the director of CGCRI encouraged Ghosh out of his way. Kamal Dasgupta, the current director of CGCRI, is equally glad by the outcome of the plant. Total Estimated power from the Plant under Kolkata environment was considered in the tune of around 45,000 KWh in a year, and our actual total generation was 52,269 KWh in past one year (From March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015). Out of the total Solar power generation, 50, 104 units were utilized in-campus, and surplus 2,165 units were sold to CESC at the prevailing rate of the month, as per Power purchase agreement, entered into between CSIR-CGCRI & CESC for 25 years. We could save Rs.4, 15, 230 in this period, said Ghosh The amount of solar power generated on an average by plan is measured with CUF value. For Kolkata city, the average is pegged at 15.74 (average), whereas the SIRSA Plant's value found to be 15.82 (average). The CUF values for Delhi is 18.40, for Mumbai is 17.19, for Chennai is 17.81 respectively. The Performance Rate [PR] generally varies between 75 - 85%, and our Plant's average PR is 90%+, said a proud Ghosh. But more than that, the positive environmental impact that the plant contributes is of much loftier significance. The Contribution to greenhouse gas emission reduction -- CO2 emission avoided at Thermal Power Plant's Generation -- is around 86 M.T. Besides, water saved at Thermal Power Plant is around 575 Kilolitres. This is a huge environmental benefit that a solar power plant can engineer, said Susapta Ghosh, superintendent engineer and Sujoy Roy, an electrical engineer, who also toiled a lot for its fantastic performance. The performance of Solar PV Plants depend on various factors, like module type and quality, solar radiation available at a particular location throughout the year, temperature, air velocity, angle of tilt (specified for geographical positions), cable losses, inverter efficiency etc. The performance enhanced, if the solar panel is cleaned regularly. The solar panel in the city gets inefficient after it gets covered with a thick layer of dust. This is why the road side high mast solar panels as planned by KMC, may fail to deliver in no time, said Avijit Ghosh. The initial design of the Plant, considering all the above aspects including shadow analysis during different time of the day and month, and location of inverter placement were done with meticulous measures. From March 01, 2014 till 28 February 2015 it was observed that lowest Solar Power generation from the Plant was in the month of July, 2014, and highest in the month of March, 2014. The highest quantity of power drawn from the Plant was 212 unit during March 05, 2014 and during March 2015 (on going), the maximum value touched 219 units on 05tth March, 2015.
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