We well understand the need of electricity in rural and remote areas where still there is no chance to get it. Apart from providing renewable source of energy to these areas we are also contributing to save our environment from pollution which is caused by lamping using kerosene etc in such areas. In urban areas solar products and power plants are best option as being the most affordable energy option where electricity charges are touching the sky limit every day. Our effort is just to decentralized and equally provide light option to all by using renewable source of energy; sun light.
Rural solar home lighting: The technological options
Solar light can be efficiently use for rural home lighting option as such home lighting system is very affordable and suitable option. In range of such CFL, LED lights etc have come up with various innovations to provide the effective lightening. In these, energy are generated from small solar photovoltaic (PV) panel and to conserve the energy for longer use innovations are done in batteries to store it for being use at night time too.
The rural solar lighting system has various forms like:
(1) Home lighting systems: This consists of a complete installed unit, namely a solar PV panel, a battery, few meters of wiring and lighting bulbs.
(2) Lanterns: Here the battery unit and the lighting bulbs exist together and can be taken to various locations once they are charged.
(3) Community centre or school lighting systems: It is almost similar to the home lighting systems except the fact that here the system is larger in size to generate more power.
Solar Home System (HLS)
As per its large or small size, it become able to operate one or several lights. Normally it has 12-volt direct-current (DC) stand-alone system which uses PV to electrify small rural homes. Each SHS comes along with a PV module; Panel, a battery, a charge controller, wiring, fluorescent CFL lights and outlets for other appliances. Before choosing the exact fit-able solar system it is important to well understand the design component which is shown below:
Solar modules for an solar HLS ranges between 100-1000 Wp. They are mounted on a rooftop or atop a pole. The technology of this could be either POLY crystalline or POLY crystalline technology.
An electro-chemical storage battery is used to store the electricity converted by the solar module. During the day, electricity from the module charges the storage battery. During the evening, the battery is discharged to power the lights and other applications. Batteries are typically the 12-volt lead-acid batteries, ranging in capacity from 40 -200 Amp-Hours (Ah). Batteries are typically sized to provide several days of electricity or 'autonomy' in the event of overcast weather preventing recharging.
A charge controller is utilized to control the flow of electricity between the module, the battery and the loads. It prevents battery damage by ensuring that the battery is operating within its normal charge levels. If the charge level in the battery falls below a certain level, a 'low voltage disconnect' (LVD) will cut the current to the loads to prevent further discharge. Likewise, it will also cut the current from the module in case of overcharging. Of course, some systems do not have this facility. Those which do not have the automatic charge controller would use indicator lights on the controller to display the relative state of charge of the battery. This is seen in most of the models available in the market. This device is important as once overused, it takes a long time for the battery to get charged. The presence of this device built into the system prevents overuse of the battery, thereby increasing the life of the system.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, fluorescent tube (off late) are used for lighting. An SHS normally have anything between two-light systems to a four-light system. A 9 watt CFL or LED provides illumination equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent bulb. These compact LED lights have a 25-year lifetime.
Wiring & Mounting devices
An HLS will also have additional materials for mounting and connections. Metal frames are included to attach the PV Modules to a pole or roof. The SHS components are connected by wires and contain switches for the lights. In some cases, wiring is housed inside conduits attached to interior walls. These are important considerations as damages to wires by rats in rural areas can considerably reduce the life of the system. Similarly, the high velocity of the desert wind can destabilize the PV modules if not clamped well on the roofs. These two considerations are likely to be understood by those involved in installing the system. The technology as regards the solar panel, the battery and the bulbs is constantly being developed. The focus of the development is three-fold: a. Efficiency of the system, b. Cost reduction and b. Rough and tough to suit to the conditions of the rural areas. c. Rough and tough to suit to the conditions of the rural areas.
Benefits of the Solar Home Light system
The benefits derived from the use of solar lamps have improved the overall well-being of the households. This has been observed during interaction with the users at the field locations. Some of the benefits are listed below:
1. A dive towards children's education: Students can now study during the evening hours too. This is especially a good option for those villages which have regular teachers at the village school.
2. Improvement in health: Kerosene used in lamps in village causes illness to the family members as it releases carbon that not only do the eyes burn but also causes respiratory problems. But by using solar energy products they can enjoy lights without any harming effects.
3. Saving of money: It is more affordable option.
5. Increasing safety for the family: The benefits go much beyond financial calculations as lightening makes aware the people about their surroundings.
• Very high efficiency electronic circuit
• Low self – discharge, highly reliable, Maintenance free Sealed battery.
• Protected from overcharging and deep discharge of battery.
• LED indication for battery charging and battery low.
• Very low no–load current. (Option to Turn Off)
• Easy to Install (Plug and Use models, no help required)
• High reliability and durability.
• Excellent for remote villages as well as semi-urban areas.
• Protection: Reverse flow, over voltage, under voltage, reverse polarity, short circuit.
• High Gauge copper wiring for minimum wire losses
• High Quality Brass Sockets and Buttons for maximum life and efficiency.
• Branded Battery for long life.
• Three point fuse protection for low maintenance and long system life.
• Easy to Use and Operate.