Solar Energy is now becoming more popular and the substitute form of energy in almost every field.
Solar energy use in India as of April 2014.
It has already crossed 2.2GW with most of the usage coming from grid-connected solar power plants.
It has now become more important to shift towards solar energy.
For several reasons like – Increasing effect of greenhouse gases, coal or other fossil fuels.
Which will soon be extinct,
More environmentally friendly and the most important factor is Solar energy is natural energy which we can make use of every day.
India is the 4th largest country, when it comes to carbon emission.
So, it is now an utmost priority to reduce carbon emission and the use of solar energy is one the easiest alternative which we can do.
As time has passed by we have seen the use of solar energy in more and more areas like –
it is also seenin- in vehicles, in cooking food, heating water and many more.
All of these are some basic use of solar energy and are used in small to medium scale industries or for household purposes.
But the area where solar energy is being more in use – generating electricity, making airports and railway stations completely solar-powered.
This may sound huge and impractical but India has already achieved it.
In India, there are already 2 airports that are running on solar energy and some airports will soon run completely on solar energy.
Before looking into the details of these airports, let us see how the solar energy generated –
Solar energy, generated in two different ways –
- Using Photovoltaics (PV) –
Also known as solar cells these are the most common solar panels which we see on the calculators or the top of houses.
In this method the energy from the sun, absorbed by the PV cell.
The absorbed energy charges move in response to an internal electric field and cause electricity to flow.
- Another method is using Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Basics (CSP) –
It is a system where mirrors reflects and concentrate the solar energy onto the receiver, which converts the energy into heat energy, which used to produce electricity.
This system are found in large solar power plants.
The second airport which is entirely, solar powered is Cochin airport –
Cochin airport is one of the busiest airports in the country where it sees around 10 million passengers annually. On August 18th 2015 Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) announced that it will be completely running on solar power which will make it the first in the world to do so.
It also means that now the airport will be “absolutely power neutral” which means it can generate as much energy as it consumes.
Lets us take a deep look into what are the features and specifications of this 100% solar-powered airport –
Cochin airport is one of the largest airports in the country with over 1.5 lac square feet of terminal space.
The solar plant which has set up at the airport has the capacity of 12MW energy which is enough to run the whole airport.
The plant had set up has over 46,000 solar panels which spread across 45 acres of land. This area is equal to 25 football fields.
It cost around 10 million dollars to construct the whole solar plant but CIAL also said that they will be able to cover the expenditure in around 5 years by looking at the daily electricity consumption.
Also, it had expected that these solar panels will last for around 25 years which means, they will be saving electricity usage for almost 2 decades.
Also, it will have a positive impact on our environment as well. They will be able to prevent 3 lac of carbon emission generated from coal firing.
The thing which acts as a cherry on the cake is that the surplus or extra energy produced and sented to the nearest electricity utility of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).
The first airport which is 100% solar-powered and is “absolute power neutral” airport in India is – Puducherry Airport –
On the birthday of our beloved Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi (2nd October 2020) 500KWp solar power plant was mounted which is used to supply the complete electricity required at the Puducherry airport.
The approximate cost of setting up the plant was around Rs. 2.8 crore.
The investment right now may look huge but in future, this will help save crores of rupees and will also be environment friendly. This solar plant generates close to 2000 units of energy per day and has around 1500 solar panels installed.
Authorities also said by setting up the solar plant the airport will now save electricity bills worth 10 lakh every month.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) is also planning to put up more solar-powered airports in southern India. Airports like Kozhikode, Coimbatore are the ones where solar-powered setup is under progress.
Southern India right now has an electric capacity of 5.5MWp and the Airport Authority of India is planning to almost double the capacity to 10.5MWp in the coming years.
Apart from southern India, some airports of central and western India are soon going to have Solar Powered Airport. Pune, Aurangabad, Raipur are a few airports for which the AAI has issued the tender of the solar-powered airport.
Not only airports but also a few railway stations in India are now running on solar energy. These stations include –
- Vijayawada Railway station –
This station has 130kWp of solar panels and around 20% of power consumption will now be from the solar panels. This will also save 8 lakh annually expenditure on the station.
- Guwahati –
The capital of Assam now has a solar-powered railway station. The station handles around 20000 passengers every day. It has 0.7MWp solar panels that give power to the station and nearby areas. This solar instalment will save more than 60 lakh annual expenditure on the station.
There are a lot more railway stations that are partially solar-powered which helps save expenditure on the station and saves carbon emission as well. We will also soon see the launch of solar-powered vehicles which will be a big step to reduce the CO2 emission from the vehicles as well.
With these efforts being taken place to reduce carbon emission we will soon see our mother earth a pollution-free planet to live on.