06 September 2012
At the Net-Zero Energy Building (SOPL-NZEB) in Bhopal in central India, energy generated by a solar PV system installed by SunCarrier feeds the lighting and air-conditioning load for the building, while also charging the large capacity Cellcube vanadium redox flow battery and energy management system. The Cellcube provides adequate power at nights and on days when the solar power generation is inadequate. The facility does not draw any power from the grid, nor does it depend upon the traditional diesel generators for its electrical needs.
Beginning with efficiency
The building with giant 248 metres square PV panels that track the movement of the sun has become a showplace for eco-responsible behaviour and sustainability.
This off-grid facility uses net-zero energy and has near-zero carbon emissions in part because it incorporates demand-side energy efficiency measures, including daylighting for high utilisation of natural lighting; LED lighting and occupancy monitoring sensors. The air conditioning system has an ozone friendly refrigerant and carbon dioxide monitoring sensor system with low noise inverters. It also features a water harvesting system, controlled water discharge toilets and sewage treatment with zero discharge, all of which ensure efficient usage of water. The furniture is also 95% recyclable.
The installation includes giant 248 metre-square PV panels that track the movement of the sun. The system has an overall rating of 67 kWp, for a planned yield of over 130,000 kWh a year. Three Cellcube FB 10-100 batteries are connected, each with a maximum power rating of 15 kW, and a storage capacity of 100 kWh. And an SMA Multicluster Box completed the configuration (see schematic below).
Net-zero applications for off-grid
The SOPL-NZEB building demonstrates the feasibility of implementing appropriate renewable energy technologies in India where the electrical grid is unable to fulfill this demand, and the consumers bridge the gap using highly polluting diesel generators and by burning kerosene. The principles of net-zero energy building, as demonstrated at the SunCarrier Omega Net-Zero Energy Building would find application in off-grid solutions for facilities that are remote from the grid or suffer from an unstable grid.
Written by Ashim Bose, Founder of The Aktion Group, Bangalore, India.