Chittoor farmer turns to solar energy
Tirupati: With the insufficient supply of free power and increasing power tariff, farmers are forced to search for alternate energy sources like solar...
Tirupati: With the insufficient supply of free power and increasing power tariff, farmers are forced to search for alternate energy sources like solar energy. Though environment-friendly, generating solar power energy is an expensive affair despite the government giving huge subsidy to solar energy plants. Several farmers are unhappy at this point. But Bahupati, a middle-class farmer of Appalayagunta village, 28 km from here installed 3000 Watts solar energy plant in his field to supply water to crops in his six acres and is happy with the uninterrupted power supply throughout the day. Bahupathi had installed 3 KW solar energy plant in his field at a cost of about Rs 4.20 lakh, with a subsidy of 35 % provided by the Bank of India. With the energy generated by this plant, he could run the 3 HP (Horse Power) motor and could supply water to all the crops spread in six acres of land from morning till evening. He installed 12 solar panels and connected them to a converter, which converts the DC (Direct Current) power to AC (Alternate Current). Each solar panel costs about Rs 13,870 and has a power generation capacity of 250 watts. From these 12 panels, he is getting about 3000 watts from morning to evening, which is more than sufficient for a 3 HP motor pump set. "I don't want to waste my time, energy and financial resources just because of power scarcity. Neither have I wanted to blame political parties or the government. But I am unhappy with power and thought about renewable energy sources. I have sufficient knowledge on alternate energy sources and with the financial help from the bank I took this decision and am now very happy," he explained. The technical engineer of Sunergy Solutions Naren Raju said that the normal motor pump sets won't work with DC power and DC power should be converted into AC by using a converter to run motor pump sets. As the DC model pump set costs more than the converter, the farmer was urged to go for a converter rather than new motor, he added. All these panels are specially designed and can generate power even if the surface temperature is 22 degrees Celsius, Naren said. This plant is specially designed for agricultural purpose and no inverter or batteries to store the power were connected, he explained. "If we want to use the solar power to lighting or ceiling fans, certainly we need backup system like inverter or additional batteries. As many farmers are distressed with regular power supply, the solar energy is the best way to fulfill his agricultural needs," Naren said. It may be noted that this is the second solar energy plant being used for agricultural needs in Chittoor district. The first one was installed by an engineering graduate in Kalakada village few months ago at a cost of Rs 3.50 lakh. It generates solar energy of 6 KW for the supply of water to his 10 acres.