English | Dzongkha Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tapping solar energy picks pace

Sep 14, 2021

Bhutan is rich in terms of hydroelectricity production. But this could change. It could also become rich in tapping solar energy. As the grid-tied Solar Photo-Voltaic system and Solar Water Heating system pick pace, it won’t be much before the country achieves enhanced power energy security. But first, the system needs to be tested. Therefore, a demonstration project was established at the economic affairs ministry’s complex.

The demo Solar Photo-Voltaic System can produce 11.7 Kilowatt peak (kWp) of electricity. The system comprises one or more solar panels, combined with an inverter and other electrical hardware which use solar energy to generate electricity.

The Department of Renewable Energy under the ministry will use the system to collect real-time data on power generation, energy consumption by the office and surplus energy. If it proves feasible, the system will be implemented in public places and institutions.

The system supplies power to a two-storied building just nearby, and according to the Director of the Department of Renewal Energy, Phuntsho Namgyal, if they have any surplus energy, it can be fed to the grid.

Similarly, the Flat Plate Collector Solar Water Heating System converts solar energy to heat up water that’s stored in a huge cylindrical vessel. The system can heat 500 Liters of water a day.

The water passed into the copper pipes inside the solar panel is heated by harnessing the heat energy from the sun. The heated water then circulates through a huge cylindrical-shaped vessel containing additional water in a looping manner. The water inside the vessel then gets heated for use.

The system could be an alternative to heat water, especially in colder regions of the country.

“We are thinking about producing three megawatts equivalent of a solar thermal system by 2025 and we have also planned to install 45 such systems in this phase of the project,” the director said.

In the first phase of the Solar Power Project, seven such systems have been installed in different schools and monasteries. 16 additional Solar Water Heating systems will be installed in various institutions this week.

Tshering Dendup

Edited by Chayku

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