In India, installing solar panels has become quite common among different industries. Each segment benefits from this clean energy resource in its unique way.
Energy-intensive industries like steel or cement, for example, use solar energy to primarily bring down their operational costs. Other sectors like hospitality and healthcare try to improve the reliability of energy supply, by becoming grid-independent.
Educational institutions too can enjoy multiple benefits of shifting to solar energy. Here’s how:
Benefits of Solar Energy for Educational Institutions
1. Lower Utility Costs
Electricity is crucial to power classrooms, laboratories, study devices like computers and smart boards, different departments, etc. All this consumption leads to hefty electricity bills. The most obvious benefit of solar energy in this scenario is the savings on electricity expenses.
Solar energy is not just cleaner but also cheaper than fossil-fuel based electricity. Moreover, studies show that installing solar panels can bring down your monthly energy expenses by up to 80%.
2. A Tool of Learning
The concept of harnessing solar energy is relatively new to the Indian population. While consumers across all segments have begun powering their homes and businesses through solar energy, we still need to create a lot of awareness of the benefits of solar energy.
What better way to do so than through children and young scholars? When educational institutions adopt clean energy technology, it becomes easier to teach the younger generation about climate change and renewable energy through real-life examples.
3. Using Unused spaces
One major advantage that almost all schools or universities have is access to space. Your institution too might have access to relatively unused rooftops or ground areas that can be transformed into clean energy generation spots by setting up solar panels.
Installing solar panels will also keep the roof underneath significantly cooler, as panels absorb the maximum sunlight.
4. Future Proof
Electricity tariff hikes are common in India. You can protect yourself against these ever-increasing electricity prices by going solar. By investing in solar, you invest in an asset that will provide returns for over 25 years. For this entire duration, you remain significantly protected against any tariff hikes.
5. Community Goodwill
The modern citizen is more environmentally conscious than ever. Consumers, investors, and other stakeholders are on a constant lookout for organizations with good sustainability portfolios.
Investing in green energy would help you showcase your institute’s commitment to sustainability and, enhance your reputation in the industry.
6. Lower carbon footprint
During the course of its daily operations, a business releases massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere which is called carbon footprint. But, by switching to a clean energy resource like solar power, you can reduce this carbon footprint.
Further, seeing their local schools or colleges’ sporting panels would inspire similar action in the nearby communities as well.
How Can Schools/Universities Go Solar?
Now you understand why solar energy is an excellent alternative to traditional electricity sources. But, there still might be confusion about the type of system you need, cost, payback period, area, etc.
Let’s clear all those doubts.
1. How much solar capacity do I need?
Your system capacity will depend on your electricity load. However, the average capacity installed by educational institutes can be between 5kW to 100kW. Consumers always have the option of meeting a portion of their energy requirements through solar energy and substituting the rest with grid power.
2. How much space do I need?
A 1kW solar plant requires approximately 100 sq. ft. of shadow-free area. At times, consumers do not have enough space for the required capacity. In this scenario, one can install high-wattage panels to maximize production or go for a solar roof, which reduces the per kW area requirement for solar installations.
3. Can I store solar energy?
Yes, you can.
There are two primary types of solar power systems
1. Those that work with the utility grid (on-grid)
2. Those that do not require the utility grid to function (off-grid/hybrid)
In on-grid solar systems, panels generate energy only when grid power is available. The moment it goes off, the system shuts down. Thus, you can only use solar power during the daytime. Such systems are pretty common in India.
An off-grid or hybrid system works independently from the grid. It is equipped with a battery system that allows you to store excess power and use it at night or during power cuts.
Each type of system has its pros and cons. Read more about them here: On-Grid, Off-Grid & Hybrid: What They Are & How to Choose the Right One
4. How much do Solar Power systems cost?
The overall cost of your system will depend on many factors, including the brand of equipment, type of installation (on-grid, off-grid, hybrid), plant location, roof orientation, etc. Moreover, the per-watt price of panels is subject to market change.
But, here are some approximate figures for your reference
|System Capacity||Price Per watt|
You can recover this initial capital in 4-5 years.
Check out Most Commonly Asked Question About Solar
Types of Solar Installations
You can mount solar panels in multiple ways based on location, space availability, budget, etc.
1. Rooftop Solar Power System:
The most common type of solar installation is a rooftop solar system, where panels get mounted on the top of your building roof. These systems are easy to install and maintain. To set up 1kW of solar capacity, you require about 100 sq. ft. of shadow-free roof space.
2. Ground Mounted System
If you have access to an open land area that receives ample sunlight, you can mount panels on the ground. One can accommodate higher capacity in such installations. Moreover, the ground-mounted system also provides slightly higher generation than rooftop solar systems.
3. Integrated Solar Roof
For large and small open spaces, such as playgrounds, cafeterias, parking lots, pergolas, etc., you can opt for a roof made of solar panels, aka an integrated solar InRoof system. This structure accommodates 26% more panels in the same space than traditional systems and looks aesthetically pleasing.
Solar Installations at Schools/Universities
|O.P. Jindal Global University||Sonipat, Haryana||313 kW|
|Nalanda University||Nalanda, Bihar||300 kW|
|Teerthanker Mahaveer University||Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh||240 kW|
|Daly College||Indore, Madhya Pradesh||165 kW|
|SAGE International School||Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh||110 kW|
Ornate Solar is one of the leading solar companies in India. We have partnered with the best-in-class global solar brands to provide you with a trustable, affordable, and reliable range of solar panels, inverters, and solar accessories.
We have also developed India’s first Integrated In-Roof system. Ornate InRoof is a roof made out of solar panels, which is leak-proof and looks aesthetically pleasing.
If you are exploring solar solutions for your educational institute, reach out to us at 011 43536666 to discuss your options.
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