According to reports,the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, is on a major project to make solar power doable in India, said Prof Ashok Jhunjunwala of the Institute. Speaking at a conference on renewable energy organised by the Institute of Financial Management and Research, the Professor did not want to discuss IIT’s ongoing project in detail, but said that the work covers several aspects of technology.
But at the heart of the issue is this question: why should we continue to use AC (alternating current) devices? DC devices are far more energy efficient. For instance, a DC motor is 2.5 times more energy efficient than an AC motor, Prof Jhunjunwala says. A 5-hp AC water pump can be replaced by a one-hp DC water pump and the output of water will still be the same, he says.
The problem with solar, however, is that it is extremely fickle and power fluctuations can vary even over small periods of time, even on a sunny day. But this can be tackled through the use of smart controllers. IIT-Madras is trying to develop them.