Published: 05th December 2019
This government college in Bengaluru is using solar energy to teach students about energy conservation
Ratnakar Shetty, the principal of a government PU college in Bengaluru believes in creating awareness about solar energy through practical application
Educational institutions can do wonders in building the future of children by implementing sustainable practices like the installation of solar panels on the roof of the school or college building which can help save money and energy. The Government Boys Pre-University College located in Bengaluru's Malleswaram 18th Cross is one of the oldest colleges in Bengaluru. It was also one of the 13 schools in which The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) along with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) initiated a solar pilot project in 2015. Ratnakar Shetty, the principal of the college says, "Apart from pre-university, this building also houses a primary school and degree college. There are around 1,500 students studying across all the streams. When they approached us, we welcomed their idea. This project was initiated to implement zero cost on electricity usage and making the best use of solar energy."
The college uses solar energy in all their buildings
What makes the staff and students happy is that in addition to reduced costs and consumption of energy, this initiative has helped reduce the carbon footprint too. The rooftop solar panels produce 39.32 kW. Earlier, they spent at least Rs 20,000 to 25,000 per month to pay the electricity bills. Now, they spend as low as Rs 2,000 to 5,000. Even when there is no power, they can still turn on the lights and continue classes. The panels here are connected to the nearest BESCOM grid. The energy is transmitted to the BESCOM grid and then, to the classrooms.
When we ask if they teach the concept of solar panels to children, Shetty says, "Of course, whenever we teach lessons related to renewable energy, we focus mostly on the issues of energy conservation. We also create awareness among teachers and the management committee about renewable energy through value-based education. Similarly, children are also curious to know how this system works. They are curious to know how during winter and rainy season, when the Sun is not out for a long time, one can derive solar energy. We teach them about the batteries used in the panels that can store this energy and, in turn, convert it into heat and light."