WITH global warming and resultant climate change threatening to take over our lives it seems that if we do not do something to conserve energy and switch to the clean mode of energy, we might as well be sailing in a sinking ship. Many people however, have taken steps to ensure that the ship gets to shore by looking at the largest giver of clean energy– the sun.
Earlier, solar panels were gargantuan, grey tray-like setups on building rooftops and many had not a clue about their usability. It is surprising that the sun, an infinite source of energy, largely remains untapped while global economies suffer energy crises and our towns and cities reel under massive power cuts. Tapping solar rays during the long summer months could be major answer to the power of a large percentage of our population.
Many youngsters are working towards a cleaner and greener future by embracing alternative source of energy. Khotang-based Solar solutions produces solar light, lanterns, etc., while educating consumer on how this untapped source of energy could bring prosperity. Mani Rai, its director, informs that solar appliances are slowly coming to the fore and says, "Solar lanterns are quite popular in rural area while solar inverters are catching up in cities like Kathmandu whereby with the means of photovoltaic cells people can turn their conventional inverters into solar powered ones".
For today’s well-informed youth using a solar-powered device comes with the satisfaction that they are switching to a greener and cleaner alternative to fossil fuels. Efforts to illuminate villages that have not got electricity or suffer from sporadic power supply have made the solar lantern popular. "Smaller solar appliances are more popular in rural areas, while custom-built prototype systems work for city buildings and institutions," Mani says.
The effectiveness of these appliances and their non-reliance on other sources of energy makes them a hit. "The solar lantern can be switched to three different modes where the brightest light setting can last for up to five hours and suffices for reading, and the dimmest can run up to ten hours with a full charge," he adds. These are easy to charge and provide light for children to study during the night. They may prove feasible alternative to traditional source of lighting for students such as kerosene lanterns.
These days one can also find quaint solar caps with fans that cool the wearer as soon as he steps into the sun. From the humble appliances to the snazzy lantern that illuminates villages, the sun shines on everything. Isn’t it high time we tapped its potential?