According to reports, that a state with abundant sunshine should set an example in using solar energy to meet most of its requirements is still a distant dream.
But, the Central University of Rajasthan, in a first-of-its-kind initiative, has shown the way by meeting 60% of its energy needs through solar energy.
The university is the first in the state and among the eight central universities formed by the HRD ministry to have successfully channelized solar energy to meet daily requirements.
The university campus has four buildings with a monthly requirement of 600 kilowatt electricity (for November), of which 420 KW is generated by solar panels.
The energy is used to heat around 80,000 litres of water and light up 62 electric poles in the campus.
In addition to being eco friendly, the method is also proving to be cost effective for the university.
It is now planning to install four solar units of 30 KW each and one of 1 megawatt in the next six months to become the first university in the country to run 100% on a renewable source of energy.
So far, Rs 3 crore has been sanctioned by the management for the project.
The university lies in the tropical region and receives enough sunlight to meet 100% energy requirements for eight months barring months of monsoon and winter.
Fulfilling its commitment of promoting ‘sustainable development’, the university has installed 62 electric poles of 400 watt each across the university driven by solar panels.
“These automatically become active after sunset and switch off automatically during sunrise. Throughout the day the cells recharge themselves to a level that they could run for 16 hours,” said Adarsh Tyagi, assistant engineer, CPWD, Ajmer.
Furthermore, the solar energy is also used for heating 20,000 litre of water every day in each of the four buildings to provide uninterrupted supply of hot water during winter.
Fans, tube lights, computers and other equipments below 9 KW can be operated by solar energy. Once the upcoming projects will see the light of the day, the university will join the league of world’s few academic places promoting sustainable development.
“The production of solar energy is phenomenal and unexpected. Soon, in future we will attain self reliance in terms of power requirement. We would be utilizing the space for tapping the solar energy so that in future we can help in the electrification of nearby villages which still don’t have power connection,” said M M Salunkhee, vice-chancellor of CU-Raj.