There is also growing concern over environmental degradation caused by conventional sources of energy. Due to these factors alternative sources of energy have gained a lot of prominence in the recent past. Government support and emphasis on clean sources of energy have also resulted in new capacities being built on the basis of such sources. To further incentivize and increase investment in this sector, the government recently began allowing power plants to earn a higher in excess of 16% to 17% for power produced from alternative sources of energy. Benefits of Solar Photovoltaic are it operates on the freely available solar energy thus saving the expenditure on electricity and fossil fuels, no fear of power cuts, it is trouble free, pollution free, and noise free, has a long life and is reliable, easy to handle and operate, and negligible cost of operation and maintenance. Among the non-conventional sources of energy, solar energy is most readily available and is found in abundance. Unlike wind energy, solar energy has not yet been explored in India. It currently has a solar-based power generation capacity of about 200 mw.
There is also emphasis on building about 20000 mw of solar capacity by 2020. There are few listed players providing the technology (photovoltaic power systems, etc) required for generating power from solar energy. Companies like Webel SL Energy, Moser Baer and XL Telecom are the known listed companies. Others like Euro Multivision recently came out with an IPO. Webel has increased its generation capacity to about 100 mw currently from 42 mw in FY08. However, it still generates a large part of its revenue from foreign markets.
Nearly 55 per cent of the State’s population depends on agriculture for its livelihood. This sector has been the single largest provider of employment to the rural people of the State. However, the contribution of agriculture sector in the State economy is reducing over the period because of unfavorable agro-climatic situation and faster growth in other sectors especially in services sector. Nearly, one-third area of the State falls under rain-shadow region, where the rains are scanty and erratic. In these areas, only dry land cultivation is undertaken. Out of the total geographical area of the state, the proportion of area under agriculture (56.8 per cent in 2005-06) is much more than that at national level (43.2 percent). Despite huge spending on the irrigation projects, the proportion of gross area irrigated to gross cropped area in the state is around 17 percent as against about 43 per cent at the national level. Most of the electricity in Maharashtra state comes from fossil-fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.
Today the demand of electricity in Maharashtra state is increasing where as the reserves of the fossil-fuel are depleting every day. The demand of electricity is already more than the production of electricity. We can feel this fact from the electricity-cuts during summer. Luckily Sun throws large amount of energy over Maharashtra state, that if we can trap few minutes of solar energy then it is possible to supply electricity for whole year to India. Most parts of India get 7 KWH/ sq-meter of energy per day averaged over a year. The use of photovoltaic (PV) power to run irrigation systems was encouraged several years ago by various governments and international agencies, but this was less successful than expected, partly because of high costs. As solar home systems are becoming more established and there is increasing local technical support for PV technology, the use of PV for irrigation is increasing as well. Solar power systems collect energy from sunlight; thermal systems convert it to heat, while PV systems convert it to electricity. The amount of energy produced varies according to the system’s location, the time of year and the weather, although some energy is produced even on cloudy days.
Average isolation showing land area (small black dots) required to replace the world primary energy supply with solar electricity. Isolation for most people is from 150 to 300 W/m² or 3.5 to 7.0 kWh/m²/day. Solar energy refers primary to the use of solar radiation for practical ends. However, all renewable energies, other than geothermal and tidal, derive their energy from the sun. The benefits of off-grid solar PV in developing countries include the avoidance of fire risk and pollution from kerosene lamps, the ability to charge mobile phones, and the provision of radio, television and computer services.
HISTORY OF SOLAR SYSTEM
The existence of the photovoltaic effect was shown by physicist Becquerel in 1839. By 1870, Professor W. Grylls Adams experimented on the effect of light on selenium, verifying that a flow of electricity was created, that was called “photoelectric”. By 1885, Charles Fritts built the first photoelectric module, showing evidence of the direct conversion of sunlight energy into electric energy. In 1921 Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for explanatory theories on photovoltaic effect. In 1953, executives from Bell presented the so-called Solar Battery Bell, showing a panel of photovoltaic cells that powered a miniature Ferris wheel. Within a few years, selenium was replaced by silicon as the basic material for the cells.
AGRICULTURAL APPLICATIONS OF SOLAR ENERGY IN MAHARASHTRA
Among the renewable sources of energy, solar energy has a huge potential for power generation in Maharashtra. There are 250-300 days of clear sun with an available average radiation of 4 to 6 kWh/m²over a day. There is a capacity to generate 1.5 million units/MW/year through solar photovoltaic systems & up to 2.5 million units/MW/ year through solar thermal systemsaharatra is already in process to boost this enormous source and interested solar project developers can submit their proposals to MEDA. Solar energy can supply and/or supplement many farm energy requirements. The following is a brief discussion of a few applications of solar energy technologies in agriculture. For more information, you may wish to consult the publications listed below. Depending on location, a 1 kW system can produce from 1,400 kWh to 2,000 kWh per year. Watts are units of power measured over one second. If one watt of electric power is used per hour, the total volume of power consumed is expressed as one watt hour, or 1Wh. Similarly, 1,000 watts of power is expressed as one kilowatt (1kW) and 1,000 watt hours as one kilowatt hour (1kWh). If a 2kW system produces power continuously for five hours, the total volume of power generated is expressed as 10kWh.
CROP AND GRAIN DRYING
As sun through large amount of energy in Maharashtra state, using the sun to dry crops and grain is one of the oldest and most widely used applications of solar energy. The simplest and least expensive technique is to allow crops to dry naturally in the field, or to spread grain and fruit out in the sun after harvesting. The disadvantage of these methods is that the crops and grain are subject to damage by birds, rodents, wind, and rain, and contamination by windblown dust and dirt. More sophisticated solar dryers protect grain and fruit, reduce losses, dry faster and more uniformly, and produce a better quality product than open-air methods.
The basic components of a solar dryer are an enclosure or shed, screened drying trays or racks, and a solar collector. In hot, arid climates the collector may not even be necessary. The southern side of the enclosure itself can be glazed to allow sunlight to dry the material. The collector can be as simple as a glazed box with a dark colored interior to absorb the solar energy that heats air. The air heated in the solar collector moves, either by natural convection or forced by a fan, up through the material being dried. The size of the collector and rate of airflow depends on the amount of material being dried, the moisture content of the material, the humidity in the air, and the average amount of solar radiation available during the drying season.
SPACE AND WATER HEATING
Livestock and dairy operations often have substantial air and water heating requirements. Modern pig and poultry farms raise animals in enclosed buildings, where it is necessary to carefully control temperature and air quality to maximize the health and growth of the animals. These facilities need to replace the indoor air regularly to remove moisture, toxic gases, odors, and dust. Heating this air, when necessary, requires large amounts of energy. With proper planning and design, solar air/space heaters can be incorporated into farm buildings to preheat incoming fresh air. These systems can also induce or increase natural ventilation levels during summer months. Solar water heating systems can provide low to medium temperature hot water for pen cleaning. Commercial dairy farms use large amounts of energy to heat water to clean equipment, as well as to warm and stimulate cows’ udders. Heating water and cooling milk can account for up to 40% of the energy used on a dairy farm. Solar water heating systems may be used to supply all or part of these hot water requirements.
Another agricultural application of solar energy is greenhouse heating. Commercial greenhouses typically rely on the sun to supply their lighting needs, but are not designed to use the sun for heating. They rely on gas or oil heaters to maintain the temperatures necessary to grow plants in the colder months. Solar greenhouses, however, are designed to utilize solar energy for both heating and lighting. A solar greenhouse has thermal mass to collect and store solar heat energy, and insulation to retain this heat for use during the night and on cloudy days. A solar greenhouse is oriented to maximize southern glazing exposure. Its northern side has little or no glazing, and is well insulated. To reduce heat loss, the glazing itself is also more efficient than single-pane glass, and various products are available ranging from double pane to “cellular” glazing. A solar greenhouse reduces the need for fossil fuels for heating. A gas or oil heater may serve as a back-up heater, or to increase carbon dioxide levels to induce higher plant growth.
REMOTE ELECTRICITY SUPPLY
Solar electric, or photovoltaic (PV), systems convert sunlight directly to electricity. They can power an electrical appliance directly, or store solar energy in a battery. A “remote” location can be several miles or as little as 50 feet (15 meters) from a power source. PV systems may be much cheaper than installing power lines and step down transformers in applications such as electrical fencing, lighting, and water pumping.
Photovoltaic (PV) water pumping systems may be the most cost-effective water pumping option in locations where there is no existing power line. When properly sized and installed, PV water pumps are very reliable and require little maintenance. The size and cost of a PV water pumping system depends on the local solar resource, the pumping depth, water demand, and system purchase and installation costs. Although today’s prices for PV panels make most crop irrigation systems too expensive, PV systems are very cost effective for remote livestock water supply, pond aeration, and small irrigation systems.
government Policy of Village energy
First objective of this is to provide energy for cooking, electricity and motive power through various forms of locally available biomass materials with energy production & distribution to be managed by local communities. Second objective is to envisage energy plan which includes assessment of total demand, resource availability and an appropriate technology mix to meet demand.
Village Energy Security Programme was launched by Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES), New Delhi of Govt. of India in the year 2004-05. The programme is planned in such a manner that it should facilitate households of those remote villages / hamlets which still do not have excess to conventional energy sources and will not be electrified by conventional sources till 2012. It has immense social aspect in development of nation as it will provide total energy security (Electricity, Cooking, Motive Power etc) to the villagers to make them self-sufficient.Under village energy security programme (VESP) the exercise of identification of those un-electrified villages which are not feasible to be connected through the grid are considered as ‘remote’ villages. A detailed survey of the remote villages is to be undertaken keeping in view the feasibility and viability of alternatives for biomass gasification / biofuel base power generation, improved chullha / biogas plants for cooking energy etc. In general villages between minimum 25 households and maximum 200 households can be considered as potential village under VESP. The main and the foremost objective of this programme is the concrete participation of villagers that to in-particular women’s participation by the formation of Village Energy Committee (VEC). The Programme envisages some contribution towards total project cost from respective state governments / beneficiary.
CENTRAL GOVERNMENT POLICY
Village Energy Security Programme (VESP) is the programmers launched by Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES), New Delhi keeping in view to make a particular census village or a hamlet of census village self sufficient from the point of view of Energy requirements using locally available renewable energy sources & full participation of local community.
- Agricultural technology is changing rapidly. Farm machinery, farm buildings, and production facilities are constantly being improved. You should consider these factors when purchasing and installing a solar system. Payback periods may be shortened by the multiple use of a solar system, such as for space heating and crop drying.
- Solar energy is an excellent alternative energy source because there is no pollution generated while it is being used so we actually reduce pollution with every watt of power generated from the sun. Even if we can’t reduce how much energy is used we should at least control where that energy comes from.
- There is no cost involved with using solar power other that the cost of manufacturing the components, purchasing and installation. After your initial investment there is no further cost associated with its use.
- Solar energy systems are flexible and expandable. This means that your first solar project can be a small one and you can expand your solar electric system to meet your needs by installing more panels. By starting with a small project you can avoid a major investment up front.
- As our use of solar energy increases, our demand on fossil fuels decreases. This will extend the time before our supply of fossil fuels (oil and natural gas etc…) expires or costs become so high only the rich can afford them.
- There is no pollution associated with the use of solar power. No smoke stacks pumping greenhouse gasses into the air means less pollution.
- A solar electric system installed in a home could potentially eliminate 18 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the environment each year.
- Using solar energy is a silent process. No noise pollution.
- With space heating appliances using fossil fuels there is always the risk of a cracked heat exchanger, which can cause CO2 poisoning (Carbon Dioxide). This is not a problem when using solar energy.
- A great advantage of solar is for remote applications. It is the best way to supply electricity to isolated places in the world where the cost associated with installing power distribution lines makes it impractical or impossible.
- Solar energy can be used to heat water and for space heating.
- You can build your own system from collecting the parts required or purchase one of the many solar kits that are available. Using kits takes a lot of the work out of building your own system.
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