Situated amidst sprawling spice plantations along the border of Periyar Tiger Reserve in Thekkady, Kerala, ensuring reliable solar power supply to this high-end Resort posed several challenges. It was located at an altitude of 3,000m above sea level, suffered periodic blackouts caused by poor grid quality, use of diesel generators caused noise pollution in otherwise serene surroundings and solar panels had to be mounted without cutting trees.
We began by first conducting a thorough energy audit to understand the power needs of the Resort. Only then did we design and develop innovative solutions which made Spice Village the world’s First Net Zero Eco Resort.
The Spice Village Project earned Finalist Nominee in the InterSolar Award for the year 2012 and won the 2nd prize in the Award ceremony. It also qualified for government subsidy and became eligible to earn carbon credits.
We designed a 65w SPV plant that could meet 100% of the Resort’s power needs. The solar panels were mounted at a height of 9m with a tilt of 16 degrees above the badminton, tennis and basketball courts as that was the only area free of shade and tree cover. The elevated design maximized irradiance without casting shadows on the area underneath the panels, which could continue to be used for sports.
An added benefit of the structure was that it could also facilitate the harvesting of rainwater of approximately 4million litres per year. Thin-film PV modules were used to overcome overcast skies and high temperatures in the area. A unique electric fencing system was devised to prevent monkeys and other animals found in the forested area from disrupting the power supply.
This project effectively demonstrated how low carbon, zero discharge and environment friendly resorts were commercially viable and that solar power could be generated even in foggy and cloudy weather conditions like in Thekkady.
High Quality Components & Battery Bank used:
• Thin Film a-Si Solar Modules
• Highly efficient and reliable SMA Inverter
• Specialized deep cycle battery bank delivering up to 2500 cycles at 50% DOD with an estimated service life of 15-20 years