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For the first time in the country, solar panels have been installed on an Indian warship. The survey class vessel INS Sarvekshak, attached with the Southern Naval command, has been fitted with 18 sheets of solar panels atop its hangar.
“It took about six months to put the entire system in place and we are now using solar energy for lights and a couple of air conditioners,” said Captain Rajesh Bargoti, commanding officer of the ship.
The 300-Watt panels generate about 5.4 KW power.
Bargoti said one of the challenges of the project was marine environments were not suitable for normal solar panels as saline and humid surroundings would cause damage. “Also, the wind speed which can affect the panels, which may get uprooted while at sea. So we had to look at flexible panels that had anti-rust properties, marine compatible, withstand high wind speeds, performing on flat installations and very low weight panels,” he explained.
“We have 10 batteries which are used for storage. So we have been using only solar power for the purpose of lighting during sail. When we are anchored, we use power supplied by the state electricity board and not diesel,” said electrical engineer Commander Sreejith Thampi.
The Prime Minister had appreciated the innovation when the project was put on display at the exhibition organized by the Navy headquarters.
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