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Energy from the Sun


Grid-connected solar pilot projects commissioned in Auroville


Photovoltaic route

Thermal route

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/m, depending on the location (peak will be 1kW/m 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 consumption.

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 are:

  • 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.

In Auroville

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 India.

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.

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