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Switching over to solar power? Dial Kerala State Electricity Board

According to reports, if you are looking for a solar panel as power back-up and don’t know the technicalities, then ask the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). KSEB engineers association has launched a help desk to provide free technical assistance to domestic consumers in the state for selection, installation and operation of rooftop solar panels. The association has trained two engineers from every district to give technical assistance to consumers.

“Each of us, who are part of the help desk, get around 20-30 calls per day and are unable to answer them all. By the time we finish explaining everything to one person, we would have missed at least 3 to 4 calls,” said KSEB executive engineer of Kalamassery substation George V James. He is the vice-president of the association.

He said that a solar panel of 1 kW is ideal for a house which consumes about five units of power a day. The panel should have a battery and an inverter.

With a rainfall shortage of 40%, KSEB is struggling to provide power to consumers. When compared to other states, domestic consumers consume 40% of the total power. “We realized that if given proper technical advice, people are willing to adopt solar energy. The state and Centre has introduced schemes to install rooftop solar panels. The main problem is lack of sufficient technical advice. People want to know size / capacity of panel, battery life & panels, cost at various levels,” he explained.

The average power consumption in Kerala is 55 million units a day and this is expected to increase to 60-65 million units in March 2013. Domestic consumers will need almost half of this output. “You can run your air conditioner with solar power, provided your panel has a 1.4 kW capacity,” said assistant engineer Riyas E A, a member of the help desk.

KSEB officials said that the best option is to have changing switches where you can alter between solar power and regular supply battery level falls to less than 30%.

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