Power outages are still a common phenomenon in both city and rural life in Bangladesh. So homeowners of Dhaka city shifted towards using solar panels in Dhaka to find a proper alternative for fulfilling their electricity needs. But to use solar electricity properly, the instalment of solar panels is not the end of the story. Proper maintenance is the key factor to utilize the solar panels within their largest scale of usability. Let’s look at some of the possible reasons for the lack of proper usage of solar panels in Dhaka and how it could benefit us upon its proper usage.
Improvement of power supply from the national grid
Although most homeowners shifted towards using solar panels in Dhaka as their backup source of electricity, in recent times, the supply of electricity from the power grid has vastly improved, deeming the necessity of power supply from solar panels unnecessary. Also, whenever there’s a power shortage, most apartment buildings use backup support of the generator to supply their tenants with electricity.
Lack of proper maintenance
The main hindrance is the lack of knowledge and proper support from the authority to install the solar panels properly. The users lack knowledge of proper maintenance. Also, in most cities around Dhaka, homeowners set up solar panels to demonstrate their need for grid electricity connection. But once they get the connection, the solar panel systems get abandoned. So in most households, solar panels in Dhaka have become a digital wasteland collecting dust. To properly use any machinery, the user must have proper knowledge or guidance towards it and the drive or need to use it. Unfortunately, both of these criteria have gotten unnecessary.
Actual numbers and the ratio of proper usage
Back in 2010, it was mandatory to have rooftop solar systems to get the grid connection. The Government drove the initiative towards boosting the share of sustainable energy. Normal household owners require a minimum of 3% of solar power capacity against their total demand. In contrast, this number was 10% for the industries. In DESCO (Dhaka Electricity Supply Company) areas, around 24,693 rooftop solar power systems, and DPDC (Dhaka Power Distribution Company) has around 37000 facilities, including Dhaka South and Narayanganj city corporations. Also, the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board has lots of rooftop solar systems at divisional and district levels.
Steps for proper inspection and management of the solar systems
The gradual improvement of the supply system in the national grid has deemed the need for these solar panels in Dhaka surplus to requirements. The power distribution companies should regularly monitor the conditions of the rooftop solar panel in their areas. We can establish a nationwide local customer service point for the users to bring them under the proper guidance of the experts. Such will improve the maintenance of the solar panels in Dhaka. Recently the introduction of the net metering initiative is ensuring the proper usage of the infrastructure.
Net metering and it’s potential in electricity generation
The net metering system allows solar panels to connect to the national grid line and transmit electricity to the mainline. Consumers can use up their portion whenever it is necessary for them. So a two-way metering system keeps track of how much power is getting into the main grid and how much the consumer is making use of it. The statistics can significantly help the consumers reduce their electricity bills and reduce the wastage of valuable machinery. Home containing panels with low capacity can connect with the grid through a cluster system. The cluster system can also become a source of income for homeowners who possess solar panels with high production capacities.
Most solar panels in Dhaka city and around the country remain idle. The owners’ lack of information and urgency towards it is the sole reason. Government and power distribution companies should take proper steps to help people familiarize themselves with the system. They should also create awareness among them to realize the potential benefits of the solar panel system.