The 16th century historical Vellore Fort, where the freedom struggle against the British was sparked off in 1806, will be a visual treat to locals and tourists, as the district administration has successfully launched the Vellore Fort Lighting Project by tapping renewable energy.
On Sunday, Health Minister K C Veeramani inaugurated the project, which was established with wind and solar energy, after rectifying some technical problems and relaying the wires. Collector P Sankar and project officer of DRDA N Srinivasan were also present.
The project, executed under the Self Sufficiency Scheme (SSS), was funded partly by the Power Grid Corporation of India’s contribution of `45 lakh and an equal amount from the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA). The lighting project aims at illuminating the fort with colourful LED focus lights using renewable energy.
The project that started at the end of July 2012 started functioning in end of August last year and was inaugurated by the then Collector Ajay Yadav on August 15, 2012. However, the solar generation unit suffered some technical snags. Apart from this, miscreants had robbed wires and a few lights that were installed during the first phase of the project.
Under the project, 20 mannequins dressed like soldiers from the Vijayanagar era were installed on the bastions along the lower rampart walls. “Each mannequin will be illuminated using two 30 watt multicolour LED lights and 15 3-watt spotlights. Totally, 40 LED lights and 300 spotlights have been installed, creating a visual treat for onlookers during the nights,” said J Abraham Daniel, engineer of BORG Energy India Private Ltd, which executed the project.
He added that the entire lighting system was tested for a week and it functioned without a flaw. The entire lighting system of the fort has also been equipped with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCDA) software.
“The main operating room inside the fort is connected through SCDA to the control unit in the collectorate. It will transmit each and every function and alert about malfunctions, power supply problems and other technical snags through satellite,” he added.
The battery backup unit has a total storage capacity of 76 KV of power. “For the project, solar energy will be the main power source as the district has over 300 sunny days. Now, the power generation units were generating 500 units per day,” Abraham Daniel added.
Windmills would be useful during the month of June and July, as the velocity of the wind would be beyond 10 metres per second. The company that executed the project would carry out maintenance work for the first year.
The district administration has also planned to install surveillance mechanisms in and around the Fort, to prevent the costly lights and equipment from being stolen.