Everybody is worried about making their house. And the reason behind this worry is quite obvious- we have to depend on the third party for all the basic needs for a perfect house. Air, water, food and gas- these all are the essential component of a perfect house. We have to think hundred times about them like- from where and how will we get this?
But what if someone doesn’t depend on others for these basic needs? Isn’t it unbelievable?
Themedots is going to introduce a revolution disguised as a man. His name is ‘Solar Suresh’.
‘’Do not expect the government to find all the solutions. Help the government by finding solutions,’’ says Solar Suresh. He described his house- as he sips some coffee brewed on a stove powered by his own biogas plant, while delightfully taking in the aroma of a curry cooked with the tomatoes and chilies grown in his own backyard. He switches off the fan powered by his rooftop solar plant to let in the breeze came out from his ‘’concrete jungle’’ surrounded by an army of gallant bamboos and creepers.
Solar Suresh lives at New 17 Vasu Street in Chennai’s Kilpauk with his wife, son, and daughter-in-law who support and encourage his endeavors. In a career spanning 45 years, which he retired from in 2015, the IIT-Madras and IIM- A graduate has worked in textiles marketing in various capacities, including MD and CEO, taken his entrepreneurial journey to finding SAKS Ancillaries Ltd., and founded another entrepreneurial venture in the last- mile connectivity space.
Where the idea came from?
Everything seems difficult at the beginning. It was also difficult for him to determine exactly when he got the idea to build a ”self-sufficient home’’. He thought about this during his travels to Germany back in his manufacturing days about 20 years ago.
‘’I witnessed many rooftop solar plants in Germany during my visits. And if a country with a lot less sunshine can install them, why not in India, which has solar energy in abundance?’’ He said. That forced him into analyzing further and finding a vendor to install a rooftop solar plant for generating electricity.
One of the major problems he faced was in finding a suitable rooftop solar plant vendor, and in getting a proper solar inverter.
‘’ The giants like Tata BP Solar, Su-Kam and others did not show much interest or encouragement. But I managed to locate a local vendor with a wealth of knowledge and sharing my enthusiasm. I toiled hard for over a year to manufacture and design the solar power plant for my home,’’ He added.
By January 2012, Suresh had installed his 1 kW plant and officially started generating rooftop solar electricity. The installation simply requires a shadow-free area, about 80 sqft per kW, and preferably on a rooftop. No separate wiring is required within the home.
By April 2015, he had scaled it up to 3 kW- and it now powers 11 fans, 25 lights, a refrigerator, two computers, a water pump, two televisions, a mixer-grinder, a washing machine and an inverter AC. A good example of perfect house.
‘’This plant generates electricity even during mild rainy days- since it depends on the UV rays falling on the panel and not the intensity of heat or light. On extremely heavy rainy days, the load is supplied by batteries, which are charged by solar and not by the grid,’’ he explains.
Domestic Biogas Plant
Now Suresh went to the next level. He decided to address his external gas needs next, by installing a domestic biogas plant of 1-cubic meter capacity, to process around 10 kg organic waste per day, and produce about 20 kg of gas per month.
He has also proven the myth wrong that no odour is generated. The plant eats organic waste such as cooked and uncooked food, spoilt food, vegetable and fruit peels etc- the only thing to be mindful of was not feeding citric items such as lime, orange, and onion, egg shells, bones or ordinary leaves into it.
Here is the best part- biogas is a non-compressed gas, and therefore carries no risk of explosion or gas leaks, even if the gas knob is left open. It is also non-polluting and saves foreign exchange for the country by reducing dependency on fossil fuels.
Suresh set up his rainwater harvesting apparatus over 20 years ago in his perfect house. He explains that this too does not require daily maintenance and only that the terrace space and the apparatus needs to be cleaned before the monsoon season commences.
Concrete Jungle And Kitchen Garden
He has also created a mini forest around his house with a thick bamboo plant-fence and creepers that entwine around over them creating a barrier.
‘’When you come to the terrace, you will get a feeling of being in a forest and not part of the hustle and bustle of a city. You can’t see any neighboring buildings and the chaotic traffic- only greenery,’’ he said.
This home forest is a topic of great admiration. As a novice with limited knowledge, he started this kitchen garden with okra and tomato. Today, he organically grows about 15-20 types of vegetables. Most of the household cooking needs are now taken care of by their kitchen garden.
This is the perfect house for every person.