India Solar, Wind, Biomass, Biofuels – EAI

Technology Options Prevalent in India and Future Trends

Latest News for Energy Efficiency, Solar, Wind, Biomass Power, Biofuels, Waste to Energy

Among the three options that are available, the grid tied captive systems are the most prevalent in India. These are available up to a capacity of 100 kW, and typically do not use batteries.

At the same time, stand alone/captive based power plants in India are evolving fast. Globally, most people do not run their entire load solely off their PV system. The majority of systems use a hybrid approach by integrating another power source. The most common form of hybrid system incorporates a gas or diesel powered engine generator, which can greatly reduce the initial cost. Meeting the full load with a PV system means the array and batteries need to support the load under worst-case weather conditions. This also means the battery bank must be large enough to power large loads. These requirements will make the system unviable owing to the high costs of battery storage. Hence, a diesel-solar PV generator provides the optimal power supply source for India as well, as the generator provides the extra energy needed during cloudy weather and during periods of heavier than normal electricity use, and can also be charging the batteries at the same time. A hybrid system provides increased reliability because there are two independent charging systems at work.

Another hybrid approach is a PV system integrated with a wind turbine. Adding wind turbine makes sense in the locations where the wind blows when the sun does not shine. In this case, consecutive days of cloudy weather are not a problem, so long as the wind turbine is spinning. While in theory this combination appears good, in practice this combination has not delivered the benefits expected out of it, primarily owing to the less-than-optimal efficiencies of micro wind turbines.

For even greater reliability and flexibility while using wind and solar, there are experimentations where a third source – diesel generator – has been included in a PV/Wind system. A generator system will act as a third charging source for the batteries.  This three-source hybrid is in its nascent stages in India.


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