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Solar energy to the rescue of those in the construction sector

According to reports, buildings are among the major consumers of energy. The need for power is high from the commencement of construction work. However, long hours of power cuts slow down construction activities.

When construction work starts for a project, temporary electricity connection is obtained and this is used for all activities such as pumping water, welding, polishing, etc. Now, builders look at other options such as generator sets so that the works go on without any disruption even when there are power cuts.

In the recent years, with increasing use of renewable energy, solar panels are used to meet energy needs during construction too.

V. Jayaraman, P.P. Subramaniam, and A.D. Thirumoorthy of Coimbatore Solar Energy Solutions say the cost of solar panels have come down and it is cost-effective to use these for specific construction works. For instance, solar photovoltaic panels and a control panel can be added to the pumping system at a construction site.

The efficiency of the solar system is high between 11 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. Water can be pumped even from 7 a.m. using the solar panel to generate energy. It can also be upgraded gradually so that solar energy can be used for other construction activities. The pump sets are mostly 5 HP to 10 HP and these can run on solar energy.

The investment cost will be met in two years through the energy cost saved. The builders will get depreciation benefit and subsidy from the Government too.

Apart from water pumping it can be used for general lighting too by adding a battery to the system. This system can be used by farmers also for water pumping.

In the case of independent houses, the solar system can be installed as a permanent facility for water pumping. In multi-storeyed apartments, it can be moved to another site after completing the construction work.

The company has come out with Sreevatsa Solar systems and the response for construction activities is good and it can be used in industries and commercial buildings more. Some banks offer soft loans too for solar installations. The subsidy norms should be simplified to encourage more people to go in for solar energy, they say.

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