IIT Roorkee goes solar with Tata Power Solar
Tata Power Solar is the "Go-to" name when it comes to implementing rooftop solar installations to help reduce carbon footprint and energy costs for corporations. What sets Tata Power Solar apart from the rest of the solar developers is the team’s project execution skill that excels in providing absolutely no disruption to the operations for the organizations and at the same deliver best-in-class solutions in a cost effective manner. With this foundation, Tata Power Solar designed solar plant for IIT Roorkee (IIT-R), the oldest technical institute of Asia, for their esteemed campus to source their energy needs in a green, sturdy and sustainable way.
While working on another renewable project, IIT-R was curious to explore solar energy for their campus. As one of the largest rooftop projects for any campus, the selection process was equally painstakingly complex. Being known as one of the best and brightest institutes in the country, it is only fitting for them to go for the best solar developer in India.
In August 2013, this project was initiated on the 25,200 sq. mts. unused rooftop area where in the span of 6 months, the Tata Power Solar team was able to commission a 1.8 MWp rooftop project. Other than being a highly successful project, this is the largest solar project at any IIT campus and the energy from this solar installation helped offset the institute’s daytime peak electricity demand from the grid. Tata Power Solar believes in delivering beyond commitment and stay true to the performance guarantee - they do so by allowing IIT-R to monitor the performance of the solar plant on each rooftop and the consolidated view of the performance provided at a central location as well. To enable easy viewing and tracking by the client, the metrics can be viewed on a 40 inch display at the individual buildings where the rooftop plants are installed and the performance of all the rooftops can be viewed at a central location on a 60 inch display.
Challenges and Solutions
Work in tandem to avoid disruption of client operations: The non-negotiable condition of this institute is to continue to run its curriculum in all parts of the campus and allow their day-to-day operations to function without any disruption. With that knowledge, Tata Power Solar meticulously planned and implemented to make sure of a seamless rooftop solar plant installation. For instance, Tata Power Solar ensured that the bulk of the materials were transported only on non-working days and any civil work was executed during holidays or weekends so the client did not get affected in any way yet the rooftop installation were developed and commissioned within scheduled timelines.
Live on-site monitoring of plant performance: The campus with 28 rooftop installations posed the challenge of monitoring the individual rooftop performance from a central location, as running the data cable between individual roofs to route information would be impractical. To solve for this, Tata Power Solar supplied RTU’s (Remote Terminal Unit) at the 28 rooftop locations with a 40 inch display unit for the client to view and track the respective rooftop installation. The existing network at the campus was used for these individual rooftop monitoring systems to talk to each other and transfer the data from individual location to central location where the overall performance could be tracked and viewed on a 60 inch display.
Intricate site design: Tata Power Solar engineering team had to come up with an intricate design considering the solar rooftop plant had to be implemented across 28 buildings in the campus. Many design interventions were made which ensured that it made up for the widespread location without compromising on the plant performance. For instance, to minimize the DC and cable losses, Tata Power Solar placed the inverter at a centrally accessible location. This is a direct result of Tata Power Solar's extensive experience in implementing solar rooftop plants that the team is able to analyze the sites and implement design interventions that deliver maximum performance.
IIT-R with the installation of 1.8 MWp solar rooftop plant, was able to offset 15% of its energy usage from the state grid thus improving its energy mix by going for a more reliable and greener option and reducing its carbon footprint by almost 234 tonnes per year.