It’s from the 90s. Sanjay was studying architecture from Mumbai. During that time one day he went to meet his friend. There he was talking to his friend’s father. In talks, Sanjay’s friend’s father advised him that he can use solar panels for his personal needs.
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Speaking with The Better India, Sanjay explains, “I was living in a rented room and was finding it difficult to cope with the Mumbai heat. My friend’s father advised me to install a small solar panel so that the room fan can run smoothly.” Sanjay says that at that time he was also studying about alternative energies. So he got interested in it and decided to give it a try.
Presently Sanjay is working as Architect in Hubli. He says, “I bought a small panel of 12V and 40W and placed it on the window sill (sun shade). This gave me enough energy to run a table fan and a bulb in my room throughout the day. It saved me from the scorching heat and reduced my expenses.”
When Sanjay returned to his home in Hubli in the year 2000, taking lessons and inspiration from his first use of solar energy, he decided to plant it in his native place, Hubli as well.
As of today, his home and office run entirely on solar energy, which helps him save Rs 2 lakh per year.
Micro solar panels at Sanjay’s house.
In 1996, when Sanjay first started experimenting with solar energy, the panels were expensive. Over the past two decades, the price has come down and it is now much more affordable. In 2001, he also installed a solar water heater at his home and then gradually installed smaller panels to light up his corridors and gardens.
Says Sanjay, “I had to get solar panels from places like Mumbai and Gujarat. Smaller panels generate less power, but they were less expensive than larger panels at the time.” Moving on in 2007, he bought a 1kW solar panel and removed his 1kW power inverter at home.
Then in 2013, when he and his family moved to a new house at Bhavani Nagar in Hubli, they installed 165W 36V solar panels. “They generate less power, but we manage our TVs, fans and lights comfortably,” says Sanjay.
Sanjay runs an architecture firm with his wife Suhasini. He completely transformed his office in 2020 by installing solar panels of 3kW capacity. He says, “It has been two years since our office is completely running on solar energy. We run five computers, printers, plotters and everything without a grid.”
How much do you save by installing solar panels?
Sanjay’s terrace garden with solar lights.
Sanjay told that earlier the electricity bill of his office used to come to around …….