Solar energy | Centre for Science and Environment

About CSE

Solar energy

CSE solar panels

The hybrid solar power system in the Centre for Science and Environment acts as an on-line uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system, providing stable power to all the electronic appliances.

120 solar modules are mounted on a space frame over the front twin-pillar supported pergola of the CSE building. The remaining 20 are installed over the CSE canteen roof.

The 10 kilowatt power (kWp) photovoltaic power plant in CSE comprises the following components:

  • Solar modules

  • Power conditioning unit (PCU)

  • Battery bank

Peripheral components

  • Data logging system with personal computer (PC)/printer

  • Direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) distribution boards

  • Earthing kits and electricity distributing cables

CSE illustration

Solar modules
Solar cell or photovoltaic (PV) cell is composed of semiconductor materials – silicon wafers.

Photovoltaic cell, as the word implies (photo = light, voltaic = electricity), converts sunlight directly into electricity.

Several PV cells go into the making of a solar module.

CSE solar PV array comprises 140 solar modules – 10 modules connected in series and 14 in parallel – of 75 watts (W) and 12 volts (V) each.

Power conditioning unit
The 10 kilovolt ampere (kVA) PCU of 120 V DC and 230 V AC acts as

a. an inverter – converting DC to AC – and

b. a solar charge conditioner – controlling current for efficient and optimal battery charging. It is connected to 220 V AC grid supply.

Battery bank

Sixty PV batteries of 120 V, 2-1,200 ampere hour (Ah) are the energy reservoirs.


How CSE benefits

  • The cost of installation of the system (Rs 36.55 lakh) can be recovered in two years, if the gross savings are taken into account.

  • Every month, CSE saves about Rs 8000-10,000 on its electricity bill.

  • Solar power helps in saving approximately Rs 20 lakh per annum if we assume that it takes 35-minutes of rebooting daily and 5-7 power outages a day leading to a loss of Rs. 50 in the output of each employee.

  • CSE never shuts down. Its critical appliances are connected to the 24-hour solar energy back up.

  • Steady power supply prevents damage to computers and loss of precious data. It reduces dependence on the diesel generator.

  • With all its electronic appliances connected to solar energy, CSE has managed to dispense with the UPS and associated recurring costs. 

  • In the event of both mains and power backup failing, solar system is capable of supplying six hours of instant and uninterrupted power.


Anil Agarwal


Anil Kumar Agarwal was the founder-director of the Centre for Science and Environment, India’s leading environmental NGO. Agarwal spent his lifetime advocating policies that involve the people in natural resource management and learn from India’s own traditions.

Sunita Narain


Sunita Narain has been with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) since 1982. She is currently the director general of the Centre and the treasurer of the Society for Environmental Communications and editor of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth.


  • Environmental issues like climate change, water availability, pollution, waste generation and disposal are commanding considerable global attention. Industries, as a major user of raw materials and energy and source of pollution and waste generation, have a major role in addressing current and emerging environmental issues.

  • CSE is organizing a global workshop on SMART and Affordable Monitoring titled “Asia-Africa Regulators Conclave on SMART & Affordable monitoring”, which is scheduled from 5 to 7 February 2018.

    Two of the main factors of sustainable development are air and water quality. Since they are important for basic human needs and development, it is therefore imperative to monitor air and water quality in order to ensure that their quality meet the regulatory standards.

  • Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) and Continuous Effluent Quality Monitoring System (CEQMS) are mandatory for 17 categories of industries and common pollution treatment facilities in India. Grossly polluting industries also require monitoring and reporting effluent quality on real time basis. In near future, the real time data will become the basis for compliance check.

About CSE

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi. CSE researches into, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable.

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