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Utilizing Solar Energy: Advancing Agricultural Practices through Solar Energy

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In today’s world, agriculture is not just about tractors, seeds, and fertile soil. It’s also about harnessing innovative technologies to maximize productivity while minimizing environmental impact. One such innovation that is making significant strides in the agricultural sector is solar energy. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and applications of solar energy in agriculture.

1. The Green Revolution 2.0:

The modern world faces a dual challenge: the need to increase food production to feed a growing global population and the imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Solar energy in agriculture has emerged as a key player in addressing both of these challenges.

2. Solar-Powered Irrigation:

Water is the lifeblood of agriculture, and efficient irrigation is essential for crop growth. Solar-powered irrigation systems use photovoltaic panels to generate electricity for pumps, making them a game-changer for farmers. These systems reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and can even be combined with energy storage solutions for round-the-clock irrigation.

3. Sustainable Farming Practices:

Solar energy aligns perfectly with the principles of sustainable agriculture. By using clean, renewable energy from the sun, farmers can significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Solar panels also have a long lifespan, which means they can provide clean energy for decades, further enhancing sustainability.

4. Cost Savings:

Agriculture is an energy-intensive industry, with substantial expenses related to electricity for lighting, heating, cooling, and machinery. By installing solar panels, farmers can generate their own electricity and reduce energy bills significantly. Moreover, various government incentives and tax breaks make solar installations an economically attractive option.

5. Solar-Powered Farm Equipment:

Beyond powering irrigation systems, solar energy can be used to charge electric farm equipment such as tractors and harvesters. These innovations can reduce operational costs and emissions simultaneously. Some companies are even developing fully solar-powered tractors, paving the way for a greener future in agriculture.

6. The Role of Energy Storage: 

While the sun doesn’t shine 24/7, energy storage solutions like batteries can store excess energy generated during the day for use at night or during cloudy periods. This ensures a continuous power supply for critical agricultural operations

7. Solar-Powered Greenhouses:

One exciting application of solar energy in agriculture is the solar-powered greenhouse. These structures utilize solar panels to provide energy for heating, cooling, and lighting, creating a controlled environment for year-round crop production. This technology can extend growing seasons and increase crop yields, all while reducing energy costs and environmental impact.

8. Environmental Benefits:

Solar energy in agriculture reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, contributing to cleaner air and water. It also decreases the industry’s reliance on fossil fuels, which is essential for mitigating climate change.

9. Future Prospects:

The future of solar energy in agriculture is promising. As technology continues to advance and costs decrease, solar installations on farms are likely to become even more common. Additionally, ongoing research aims to optimize the integration of solar power into various aspects of agriculture, from crop monitoring systems to automated machinery.
In conclusion, solar energy is a powerful tool that is revolutionizing agriculture by making it more sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly. As the world grapples with the challenges of food security and climate change, solar energy in agriculture offers a beacon of hope for a greener, more sustainable future. By embracing this technology, farmers can not only boost their productivity but also contribute to a more sustainable planet for generations to come

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MD Shyamal Chatterjee donates Rs 2 lacs for Covid Care

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Following the footsteps of our respected Union Minister Hon. Shri Nitinji Gadkari, we at Galaxy Solar Energy Pvt. Ltd. donated today Rs 2 lakhs for manufacturing of self-manufacturing oxygen plants at every hospital in Vidharba and promised him that we will be with him till our last limit in this effort for Nobel cause initiated and started by him

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What Solar Rooftops System Experts Do Not Want You to Know!

So, you have just decided to go green with Solar energy for your share of environment care. And solar rooftops system was your obvious choice, be it a residential or a commercial building. You are all decked up to call an expert on the solar rooftop system.

But pause for a few minutes and bear with me to understand that even if it’s your known dealer, a few things will always be kept undisclosed because of many Terms and Conditions that companies apply. Before diving, let us first understand the scenarios and the models available in the market.

The first model is an ON-grid system in which the rooftop solar systems is connected to the grid. An inverter is present to convert DC power (generated by Solar panels) to AC power to power the loads (AC/fridge/fan etc).

The first model is an: On-grid system. It has 5 scenarios.

1. Solar Generated = Required Load

(Solar power runs the loads completely. Although the Grid is available and the power from solar is sufficient).

2. Solar Generated > Required Load

(Solar power will support the existing loads first, and then export the excess power to the grid)

3. Solar Generated < Required Load

(Herein, load completely consumes the solar power. The rest of the power required by the load is compensated by the Grid)

4. Solar Generated = O

(At night-time, no generation of solar power. Herein, the load imports the power from the grid.)

5. No Grid is available.

(During a power cut, the solar inverter shuts down to keep the people fixing the grid safe).

The second model is an Off-Grid. This model replaces the grid in its entirety. Rather a battery is used which acts as a bank to store the excess power generated during the daytime. During less generation or no generation of solar power, in place of the grid, the battery sends its power to the loads.

The third model is a Hybrid system wherein, both On-grid and Off-grid systems work in tandem. This model is advantageous in two ways: one, you do not need the grid. And two, when the battery becomes full, the excess power is sent to the grid.

Now the real deals are:

1. The Tale of Two Metering 

In 1st and 3rd variants where the use of a grid is present, the possibility to generate revenue from the excess power is the exact area to focus on. Usually, the customers or the users give in to the temptation of getting paid by the power companies, once the users start generating excess power. Well, it just happens that nothing can be further from the truth. Let us see how.

There are Gross Metering Systems and Net Metering systems. The GMS system provides a pre-determined “Feed-in-tariff‘ for the power generated through solar. The generated solar power is completely exported in the grid. From the grid, the household loads are operated.

Unless you get a competitive ‘Fee-in-tariff’, better to opt for the Net Metering. Net metering, on the other hand, is what you use. Meaning that the solar power generated is first supplied to a home or business electricity needs. The power left after load consumption is exported to the grid and electricity retailers then pay you.

2. Reducing Efficacy

In general, all the companies try to convince customers and users that solar panels do not need much maintenance. This is true marginally. Weather conditions reduce the efficacy of panels each year by 1 percent. By the end of the 15-20 years, a significant reduction occurs in the panel’s efficiency.

Maintaining the panels in harsh weather is good for health maintenance. Talking to the dealers and experts to manage the efficiency of equipment over a period of time can be a good decision.

3. The Dilemma of Leasing

Lastly, due to the high rewards of exporting power to DISCOMs, the system of leasing roofs are catching up. But be aware that it has its consequences too.

Roof lease can hurt the valuation of your property. Installing a solar system in either residential or commercial places is a long-term (usually 20-30 years) investment and responsibility. It is crucial to consider your living tenure. If not, buyers of such properties usually shy away and you can lose your real value of the property.

People are usually duped into solar leases, by costly installations to several lease terms. Leasing is a cheaper option with little or no money to buy, but when you lease, the company in the contract which owns the system might take away the system once your lease term ends.

Make sure, you weigh the terms and cost between the total lifecycle cost of the lease and the benefits you would reap from ownership.

Related Read: How to Choose the Best Solar PV Installer

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7 Things That Reduce Your Solar Power Output

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Opting for sustainable resources is indeed a great choice. And we appreciate those who have adopted these resources or are thinking to adopt one.

While these resources have no such limitations whatsoever, the only time when you might face a mild issue is- during its solar power output.

Since you are doing a great job already, let us help you understand the seven factors that reduce your solar power output.

1. The sun’s angle:

Your solar system cannot perform well without the power of the sun. One of the prerequisites is to have sunshine; if not in abundance then at least considerably good. In situations when the sun is low in the sky, your system will automatically produce less power.

2. Solar panel’s orientation:

Believe it or not, but the orientation of solar panels has a great impact on the sides they face. Roof orientation facing east or west will always generate less power compared to the ones that face north and south.

The logic is simple- if there is less sunlight reaching the panels then drop in power output will get affected.

3. Clouds & haze:

It is not like the solar panels do not work on cloudy days. They work like they normally do; however, they do not perform well as they would do on a bright sunny day. It is estimated that solar panels generate about 10 – 25% of their normal power output on a cloudy day.

4. High temperature & heat:

It may come as a shock to you when you discover that ‘the stronger the sun is, the less energy the solar panels produce.’ Well, it is said that at a certain point, the excessive temperature can cause a reduction in the energy output from the installed solar panels.

The solar panels are tested at 25°C under the Standard Test Condition therefore when the temperature goes high, the output gets affected directly.

The amount of energy produced by a solar panel is calculated by multiplying the current and the voltage.

5. Wind & humidity:

The sunshine heats the panels, but a breeze helps the panel to cool down, thus impacting its efficiency. In the case of humidity, there are high chances of tiny water droplets/water vapor to get collected on solar panels.

These droplets reflect/refract sunlight away from the solar cells, ultimately reducing the amount of sunlight hitting them.

6. Shading, dirt & bird dropping:

Most of the solar photovoltaic panels consist of several cells that are wired together into a series. When a small part of the panel comes under the shade, the performance of the solar panel significantly reduces.

A similar obstruction occurs when dirt, bird droppings, or leaves partially forms shading over the panel.

7. Microfracture in panels or fault in inverters:

Contradicting the natural factors; the system problems can also affect the overall efficiency of the system. Microfractures aka microcracks are small cracks that appear in solar cells.

On the other hand, the problem related to the inverter can arise when the inverters are installed incorrectly or due to their incorrect programming. This happens rarely though!

Moreover, the inverters come with a warranty of 5 to 10-year so, if there is a problem related to the inverter, then you can get them fixed under free warranty service.

Related Read:   5 Maintenance Tips for Your Solar Panels

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10 Reasons why ‘Businesses should opt for commercial solar panel installation’

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When you are running a business, you’re constantly looking out for solutions, even for the slightest issues. When considering ways to save money to operate your business more efficiently, you are likely to think about the factors like- stock regulation & control, business-to-debt ratios and increasing turnover. However, saving substantial amount of money will always remain as the foremost concern and priority of all businessmen. With Solar PV system, you may end up saving a lot and also get to experience all the benefits of using solar energy for commercial use.

Financial Stability:

Utility bills are sky rocketing every year. This can wreak havoc on the budget set by you for the business expenditure. The sun is a free source of light and energy. And with solar photovoltaic panels, we are able to tap this energy to the fullest and will no longer be at the mercy of the energy industry who hand us over huge electric bills under the pretext of earning profit.

Reduces operating costs:

Business owners can reduce their operating expenses and green their infrastructure with commercial solar panel. A well designed commercial solar panel system installation can reduce your power bill up to 75%. The money you save here can be utilized for the expansion of your business. New advancements in this field now come with monitoring software, which allows you to track the exact amount of energy you are generating through your rooftop solar system.

Affordability:

Solar power is a renewable energy source for a reason. Supply is never a problem as long as there is sun. Unlike other energy sources like fossil fuels, solar power is cheaper to process and requires much less effort to produce. Besides, with the recent agreement of countries to put emphasis on reducing carbon emissions, solar power is getting a huge amount of support and companies are getting more funding and incentives from banks and local governments.

Better Technology:

Most solar panel manufacturers have higher efficient panels; the general thumb rule is that the more efficient the panel is, the higher will be its cost. However, as the standard started rising, the technology kept getting better. Manufacturers have already started producing panels over 400w which means if you think you did not have enough roof space for solar previously, you might want to rethink now!

Related Read: 5 Financial Benefits of Solar Energy

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