Before we decide on the benefits of going solar for colleges, let us discuss the deciding factors and how favorable are they for colleges.
What are the deciding factors?
- Roof space: Most colleges have ample amount of rooftop space available. And in most cases, this space is unused. Solar installations could provide productive use of this space.
- Type of load: Generally, colleges do not account for large amounts of loads. Most of the loads covered include fans, lights, lab machinery, computers, etc.
- Timing: Most colleges function during the daytime. Therefore solar installations can cover most of their power requirements during the day. Although there are colleges that take nighttime classes, these amount to very few in number. But this might be an issue in the case of hostels which require power during the night. This problem can be mitigated by an efficient battery storage solution.
Why should colleges go solar?
- Meeting load requirements: Due to varying load requirements in colleges resulting from the use of laboratory equipments, lighting and ventilation in multiple classrooms, hostel facilities, recreation facilities etc, there is demand for independent electricity production.
- Promoting solar education: The presence of solar installations would be welcomed by students. They get a chance to receive first-hand experience on the working of a solar farm thereby stimulating interest in the field. A solar installation can prove to be an inspiration towards encouraging solar education.
- Sustainability commitment: It is a step towards contributing to a cleaner environment with less dependence on fossil fuels. Moreover, a sound and effective sustainability commitment can boost the reputation of the college.
- Energy security –Rooftop solar plants can deliver power during load-shedding, ensuring that critical loads are always running
- Cost-effective – Rooftop solar power has a levelised cost of Rs. 4.5-5/kWh (or less), considerably lower than diesel power at Rs. 18/kWh (or more). Additionally, your energy cost is now fixed for the next 25 years, unlike diesel power which keeps increasing
- Reliable – A solar power plant has no moving parts, ensuring reliable power over 25 years
- Minimal maintenance – A solar plant requires very little maintenance from the energy consumer
- Flexible configurations – Solar panels can be installed on different kinds of roofs, including covered parking areas, as long as the structure can bear the weight of the panels. They are also highly scalable, with rooftop plants ranging in capacity from less than 1 kW to more than 1 MW
It can be concluded that colleges are ideally suited for rooftop solar power plants as they have large roof areas, they use most of their electrical load during daytime and they have very little air-conditioning load. Rooftop solar can meet up to 25 % of the energy requirements of colleges.
- What Permits Do I Need for My Rooftop Solar System?
- Do I Need Insurance for My Rooftop Solar Power System?
- How Should I Choose the Best Installer for My Rooftop Solar Plant?
- What is the Expected Lifetime of Rooftop Solar Power Plants?
- What should I Look for While Choosing Key Components of My Rooftop Solar Power Plant?
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