Su-Kam’s Centralized Solar Street Lighting Project in Tamil Nadu

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The Government of Tamil Nadu has entrusted the task of implementation of the centralized street light project scheme with Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency to Su-Kam. Significantly this project is the first project in India for centralized street light system to be installed in rural areas of Tamil Nadu. Su-Kam was awarded the project by Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency in 2012. All the technical qualification the prototype systems were developed meeting all the specification requirements. All the components of the system such as Solar PCU, Solar Panels, Battery, mounting structures were designed as per the specification and got tested from TUV Rheinland which is an approved agency in India as per MNRE guidelines to test and provide technical, safety and certification. The components were tested for various IEC standards as per specifications. Su-Kam is responsible for installation, commissioning, Testing and comprehensive maintenance for 5 years of the the Centralized Solar Lighting Project.

Su-Kam has installed centralized SPV power plants of each 500Wp that energizes a cluster of existing 10 Nos street lights from each PV plant, after replacing the florescent lights with LED lamps, through already available distribution network of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO), with provision for grid backup. We decided to replace the normal florescent lamps with LED as LED lights are much brighter and consume less energy.

The system will get charged by solar in the day time and stored energy will be utilized for the LED lighting during the night reducing the electricity consumption and thus providing an eco-friendly and greener alternative.

The Centralized Street Light Project is spread across seven districts in West Tamil Nadu. The project energizes 3220 street lights through 322 numbers of 500 Wp Solar Power Plant designed for Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency. All the sites are remotely monitored to ensure proper data output even at distant locations. Remote Monitoring Units will be integrated to the centralized SPV power plants for monitoring the system performance. Various system parameters will be monitored periodically through the remote monitoring.

Benefits of the Project

  • Solar street lights are independent of the utility grid thus minimizing the operation costs
  • Solar street lights require much less maintenance compared to conventional street lights
  • Since external wires are eliminated, risk of accidents is minimized
  • This is a nonpolluting source of electricity
  • Separate parts of solar system can be easily carried to the remote areas of Tamil Nadu

Challenges Faced

The Teda project has been customized for lighting application and intelligent charging algorithm to utilize the solar power to maximum.

The specification document was finalized by TEDA and published in the tender document that describes all the components of the system and the technical and functional requirements of the application. The system also required to conforming various IEC standards as applicable to components such as Solar PCU, Battery, Solar Modules, Module Mounting structure etc.

Su-Kam decided to take part in the tender and designed the complete system as per the requirement specification of the tender in a very tight project schedule. After designing the system, various components were submitted for the certification to TUV Rheinland and got them successfully tested with all the required certification.

Once the order was received the execution schedule was very tight and required complete supply, installation, commissioning of all the 322 solar power plants in various remote areas of western regions of Tamil Nadu state. Su-Kam has successfully completed the supply, installation and commissioning of the solar power plants within the stipulated project schedule.

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