THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Go Green’ project, an initiative of the Prisons Department to power the jails across the State with solar energy, will be launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at Central Prison, Poojappura, here on Wednesday.
The project, which is a pioneering initiative with the financial assistance from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, is being implementing with the prime objective of substantially reducing the dependency on grid power by using power from renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic power-generation systems. It also aims to reduce the use of LPG and firewood for cooking and other purposes in jails. Firewood and LPG would be replaced with solar thermal water heating systems and steam-based cooking systems.
“The solar thermal water heating, boiling and steam cooking systems to be launched at Central Prison would keep water at a temperature of 70-80 degrees Celsius. The back-up grid power ensures that the system operates without hindrance even when sunlight is low. It is also expected to reduce LPG cylinder consumption from 5,800 per year to 2,200,” said B Pradeep, Superintendent, Central Prison.
According to sources, the project will be extended to all open prisons, district jails and sub-jails in the State in a year’s time. The State Government has allotted Rs 24 crore to implement the project in all jails.
The project would be carried out by the Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd (KELTRON) with the assistance of the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL). The technical assistance for the project will be provided by the Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT). “Since RRECL receives a subsidy of 30 per cent from the Central Government, we would be able to avail an additional amount of Rs 7 crore for implementing the project,” sources said.
1. Fans can be run throughout the day (as per availability of sunlight) directly on power generated by solar panel array. They shift to power from battery back-up for up to 6 hours after sunset. They will need grid power only for balance of usage. (Average dependence on grid power reduced from 24 hours to 9 hours)
2. Lights in cell blocks will be on through the night for 12 hours/ day on battery back-up. Batteries are charged during the day from solar panel arrays. There is almost negligible dependence on grid power.
3. Streetlights and floodlights in the main prison complex can be switched on uninterruptedly through the night on battery back-up from battery bank charged through solar panel arrays and virtually eliminates the need for grid power to operate them.
4. About 3,000 litres / day (LPD) of boiled drinking water for inmates as well as for making tea. Hot water available for bathing purposes for elderly inmates. Steam-based cooking for rice (500 kg / day) and vegetables.
5. Uninterrupted power ensures safety and security at all times.