Next to Teri’s RETREAT or Teri Gram as the board proclaims, is the Solar Energy Centre or National Insitute of Solar Energy which is run under the MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy). The non-descript building houses the testing centre and it can be called to be nerve centre for the pioneering work being done in Solar Power in the country. The centre has got a further boost after the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Mission on Solar Power. The centre is good kilometer or more from the entrance. There is work in progress and the plenty of construction activity going on. But it is inside the place that one sees the remarkable work being done using solar power – solar thermal and solar photovoltaic system. There are air conditioning systems being run on solar power. Solar power is being stored in batteries, invertors. Solar thermal energy is being used to produce heating which inturns works on cooling. This is used to cool building, air conditioning systems and more. Similarly the same technology running water through panels results in brackish or bad water being converted into good quality drinking water. This replaces conventional RO system using solar power. The waste of water in RO system which throws out good quality of water is avoided. Apart from saving on water wastage, this uses solar power so there is saving on both the front.
There are agricultural pumps which are operated using solar power. There are umpteen number of solar panels available with higher and greater efficiency. The centre in itself is a fine example of how solar power can be harnessed for homes and day to day purposes. More so, the staff and those associated with the place are extremely extremely courteous with a passion for energy efficiency, alternate power and more. The building when run on solar power runs akin to any other place supporting all modern electrical and electronic equipment. So, computers, airconditioners, water coolers, printers et all run work on solar power. The connection with the grid ensures that on a day when solar power cannot be generated as the sunshine is not there, the place functions smoothly.
Location – It is around 10 – 12 kms from Mehrauli if one takes the short road via Chattarpur, Jaunapur to Gwal Pahari. The route via the Pahari from Gurgaon is circuitous though it is wonderful to see such empty roads so near Delhi.
How to get there - It is better to go in one’s own vehicle.
Highlight – The plethora of solar equipments which are running and working. Nowhere can one get to see the entire range of solar power products. It is also an eye opener on what all is possible with solar enery.
Insider Tip – It is an extremely educative experience. One can see the various means of harnessing solar power using more and more sophisticated technique. The scientists and directors working there are very practical and understand the limitation and cost implication. They understand the cost of generating solar power and the investment required. Will very firmly tell you if it is viable, should you venture into it. To a great extent, they are practical in the application of the technology. Go and Enjoy yourself, both the places at Gwal Pahari are well worth the trip!!!