Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) conducted capacity building programmes for students of 7th to 10th standard  in the following schools during the month of January - February 2020.

1.    Government High School, Thalakudi, Tiruchirappalli District on January 29, 2020
2.    Government Model Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Manachanallur, Tiruchirappalli District on February 03, 2020
3.    Government Boys’ High school, Manachanallur, Tiruchirappalli District on February 04, 2020

The objectives were to

1.    Educate school students on various power generation methods;
2.    Demonstrate the use and advantages of renewable energy, especially solar power;
3.    Create awareness on energy conservation through behavioural practices; 
4.    Explain the importance of energy-efficient appliances     
 

The presentations were made by Bharath Ram G N, Researcher, CAG and Prithiv Raj, ECC Engineer, CAG on energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. 

The presenters explained how electricity is reaching consumers viz. generation, transmission and distribution. They explained various electricity generation methods such as a) thermal energy b) nuclear energy c) renewable energy such as wind energy, hydro energy, biomass energy, waste to energy, and solar energy. 

They pointed out the disadvantages of thermal power plants such as air pollution, climate change, depletion of natural resources, etc. They highlighted the necessity of renewable energy to meet the increasing electricity demand and to tackle the environmental impacts caused by conventional thermal power plants. 

   

Image 1: Students listening to Mr. Prithiv Raj, ECC Engineer
 at Government Girls Model Higher Secondary School, Manachanallur.
Image 2: Mr. Prithiv Raj, ECC Engineer explaining about
Energy Efficiency  at Government High School, Thalakudi

CAG resource persons conducted an interactive session on energy conservation which involved asking students about conservation practices in their houses. The sessions focused on the following electronic appliances - lights, fans, air conditioners, refrigerators, television, washing machines, and geysers.

Students were asked to give examples of energy conservation practices that should be followed in households.  The answers received from students included a) switching off the electrical appliances when not in use, b) cleaning the fan blades,  c) switching off the appliances not only through remote controllers but also in the main switchboard, etc. 

Later, CAG representatives gave a few more energy conservation tips as follows:
  1. Lighting practices. e.g. using a study lamp instead of lighting the whole room while studying;
  2. Cleaning up of AC filters and blades of the fan at regular intervals for improved performance;
  3. The outdoor unit of the split AC should not be kept in the direct sunlight;
  4. Using ceiling fans wherever it is possible; both ceiling and pedestal fans almost take similar power but the ceiling fans cover comparatively more area than pedestal fans;
  5. Avoid placing the refrigerator close to any appliance that emits heat and provide minimum of 6 inches free space around the refrigerator; and
  6. Placement of appliances should not be an obstacle for natural lighting and ventilation

 

Image 3: Mr. Prithiv Raj, ECC Engineer explaining about
rooftop Solar at Government Boys High School, Manachanallur

The students were taught about BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) star labelling and its relevance to energy-efficient appliances. The presenters also spoke about the points to be considered in star labelling such as a)number of stars, b) star label period, c) annual electricity consumption, and d) BEE logo on the label.They also explained the differences in power consumption between normal appliances and energy-efficient appliances with examples. 

Image 4: Mr. Bharath Ram explaining about energy conservation at Government High School, Thalakudi

The students were taught about the advantages of solar energy and rooftop solar systems in households. Following points were covered during the session:

 
  1. Calculation of the required capacity based on their annual electricity consumption and available shade-free rooftop area;
  2. Difference between on-grid and off-grid solar systems;
  3. Net feed-in mechanism; and
  4. Maintenance of the solar plant.

At the end of the session, students raised few questions and received appropriate response from the presenters 

Q1) What is the Difference between the normal meter and digital meter?
Answer) Normal meter does not record electricity consumption below  15 watt, whereas the digital meter records it.
 
Q2) How much electricity will be consumed by a BLDC fan (Brushless DC fan)?
A) BLDC fans consume 28-30 watt, whereas normal fans consume about 70 watt.
 
Q3)  What is the is lifetime of a solar panel? 
A) The lifetime of a solar panel is about 25 years. 
 
Q4) What is the approximate cost for installing a rooftop solar system?
A) The approximate cost for installation of 1 kW solar will be around Rs.60,000 without subsidy and Rs.43,700 with subsidy. 

The students were attentive, enthusiastic and interactive during the sessions and gave positive feedback on the programme.