INS Sarvekshak

  • 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. We are now using solar energy for lights and a couple of air conditioners.
  • Captain Rajesh Bargoti is the commanding officer of the ship.
  • The 300-watt panels generate about 5.4kW power.
  • Biggest challenge was that marine environments were not suitable for normal solar panels, as saline and humid surroundings would damage it.
  • Also, the wind speed can affect the panels, which may get uprooted while at sea.
  • Therefore scientists had to look at flexible panels that had anti-rust properties, were marine compatible, could withstand high wind speeds, perform on flat installations and had very low weight.
  • There are 10 batteries which are used for storage.
  • Only solar power for the purpose of lighting during sail.
  • When anchored the ship uses power supplied by the state electricity board and not diesel.
  • Ship personnel were noting down meter reading of solar power consumption so as to carry out a power audit and look at using solar power for more devices.

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