BENGALURU: By the end of this month, Bengalureans will be able to log on to the BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited) website and gauge the feasibility of installing a solar panel on their respective rooftops to make the most of the abundance of solar energy available.
A tool is being developed by the think tank, Center for Science Technology, Environment and Policy (CSTEP), after conducting an aerial survey using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology. The first-of-its-kind tool in the country digitises each rooftop.
Saptak Ghosh, a research scientist, CSTEP, said, “The consumer has to log into their BESCOM account to use the tool. It will automatically direct you to your location with high-resolution images of your roof. Each roof has a different gradient, with sloping, flat and elevated areas. A resident can select part or whole of the roof and accurately assess the feasibility of having a solar photovoltaic system installed on their rooftop.”
Ghosh added, “How much capacity can be installed, how much power can be generated per year, and the business return, will be calculated by the tool. There is also a radiation profile. For example, the yellow area points to the best spot to have the solar panels installed. Dark red would mean it is not as good to install the panel there. After the user enters the inputs, we are aiming for our server to generate results in less than half a minute.”
While the tool will be available for use by the end of January, consumer data and sanctioned load for all the areas of the city are yet to be supplied by BESCOM. These will be added gradually, making it more user-friendly after a few months.
Commenting on the same, C Shikha, Managing Director of BESCOM, said, “The tool will determine the maximum solar coverage area for rooftops all over Bengaluru. A consumer will be able to tell if installing solar panels on the roof will be financially viable for them or not.”
The aerial data-gathering flights took place from February to March, 2018. The results obtained from the tool will help identify the most suitable rooftops in the city to achieve the 1 GW (Gigawatt) of solar
capacity target by 2021-2022 for Bengaluru.