Solar Rooftop Installations: Not Quite off the Ground
"Energy from the sun can be harnessed primarily by two methods solar thermal and photovoltaic or PV.Â In the former, energy generation results from the conversion of solar energy into heat energy. The solar thermal method uses sunlight to heat up working fluids, such as hot water, hot air, and steam that can be set up for meeting numerous applications in different sectors, including power generation on a large scale, space heating, space cooling, solar water heating, solar cooking, and more (Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited, 2017). The PV energy conversion on the other handÂ is the transformation of solar energy into electricity. This method directly converts the sunâ€™s light into electricity using semiconductors such as silicon. The conversion of the energy into direct current (DC) is known as the photovoltaic effect. The energy thus generated can then be used in several ways. It can be used directly to run DC devicesâ€”solar lanterns, domestic lights and pumps; or can be converted into alternating current (AC) to run the regular devices or to be stored in batteries for future use. These devices are particularly useful in areas that still are still not connected to the national grid or suffer from errati
The current state of rooftop installations in India suggests that unless some major technological leap brings down the price of panels drastically, the uptake for rooftop systems at the household scale might not reach the desired levels.