The sun is the physical sign of the Supramental,
the goal towards which we are moving in our Yoga.
Energy from the sun has many salient features that
make it an attractive option; these include widespread distribution,
lack of pollution and virtually inexhaustible supply.
Under clear sky, the daily average solar energy
incidence varies from 4 to 7kWh/mē, depending on the location (peak
will be 1kW/mē at noon). As there are 250-300 sunny days a year in most
parts of the country, India receives solar energy equivalent to more
than 5,000 trillion kWh/year, which is far more than its total energy
Solar energy, experienced as light and heat, can
be used in various ways and for a number of applications.
The two principal technologies for its utilization
The photovoltaic (PV) route, in which
sunlight is converted into electricity.
The thermal route, in which the heat
produced by solar radiation is harvested and put to some use.
The first solar panels were installed in Auroville
in the early eighties. Today, Auroville has more than 150 houses fully
powered by photovoltaic panels and about 50 houses that use solar power
in conjunction with a state grid connection. Some communities run solely
on solar and wind energy. The total standalone photovoltaic energy capacity
of Auroville is more than 15% of the total photovoltaic capacity in
Solar energy in Auroville is used mainly for home
lighting systems, pumping water for drinking purposes and irrigation,
heating water for domestic purposes, and food processing. Other solar
applications developed are solar curing chambers for ferrocement prefabricated
elements and solar concentrators.