If Dr Raveendra Deo has his way his home in Nasik could be the model for all the homes in electricity strapped Maharashtra. With citizens in Maharashtra looking out for alternative sources of energy to face upto the frequent blackouts, the 54 year old doctors home gets uninterrupted power supply thanks to solar energy.
Deo has been succesful in harnessing the sun's rays to power his light bulbs, television, computer and washing machine in his 2,000 sq ft house using only 400 watts solar panels.
"I have devloped the technique to generate electrical power using solar energy but it is not the traditional system. We use less number of solar panels and yeild more electricity. By using my technique we can generate 1400 Watt hours of energy by using only 400 Watt solar panels," Dr Deo says adding that in conventional system solar panels of 1100 Watts would have to be installed to get 1000 Watt hours of electricity.
Dr Deo gets his solar energy through eight 50 watts solar panels, which he has connected to two batteries. The solar panels, made of silicon, then charge the batteries producing five to six units of electricity thereby providing uninterrupted power supply to the Deo residence.
The doctor says that his home used to be powered exclusively by MSEB supplied conventional energy. However the rising energy bills and frequent black outs forced him to think about alternate energy sources.
"It took me six years to do research on this subject. Finally while shifting into my new residence we decided to try out solar energy. We have been using it since December 2006," he says.
Eventhought Dr Deois not completely off MSEB's power grid his energy bills have been brought down from Rs 2,000 to Rs 150. However the installing cost of the soalr panels is huge.
"It cost me Rs 1,50,000 to install this project. It seems pretty steep but in the long run it evens out. You dont have to face power cuts and the electricity prices are not likely to go on a downward spiral soon," he says adding that the pay back period for the system is five to six years.
Deo who works as a doctor for the Nasik Muncipal Corporation has now decided to go commercial with his solar panels.
"Alternative energy is the way to tackle the energy crisis. Large scale use of solar energy in residences would allow the authorities to divert the saved energy to farmers and industrialists," he says.
Meanwhile the suucesgul use of solar energy for residential use has raised the interest of Maharashtra Energy Development Agency. MEDA had already sent a team to check out Dr Deo's claims. A senior MEDA official who is not authorised to speak to the media however said that he was preplexed by the way Dr Deo was claiming to generate so much electricity using only eight panels. "We have checked out the system and we are prepairing a report on the project," he said.
With Nasik city facing load shedding of six hours, mainly during the hot summer afternoons, the usage of solar powered energy to power your air conditioners makes more and more sense.