In the relentless pursuit of human race to build a better world with technology, there lurk some blind spots in the developing world, and foremost among them is 'sustainable access to energy'. In this project, we develop and demonstrate a systematic methodology for institutional campuses to transform themselves into energy sustainable communities. The methodology starts with an investigation of the electricity consumption trend, followed by the determination of the seasonally variant solar generation capacity. We then compute the minimal geographical area to reach sustainability and present an economic viability model taking into account local energy costs. The methodology is experimentally piloted in a 400-acre campus community of 10000+ residents in rural monsoon dominated tropics of Southern India. Sustainability can be achieved through the deployment of 20 acres' solar panels together generating 13,369 MWh (annually). On the consumption side, smart control panels can help to limit usage to 4,338 MWh, allowing the possibility that a surplus of 9,031 MWh to be re-routed to humanitarian causes of lighting up adjoining low income village households (which otherwise would have been without power), powering campus vehicles and dining services, with potential to reduce the overall carbon footprint by 6452 tons. The initial investment gets paid back in eleven years' time, which is about half the panel lifespan, thereby proving economic viability. Our methodology provides a validated replicable roadmap for developing world communities aspiring to boldly transform into net zero carbon sustainability, thereby realizing the United Nations COP21 mandate. © 2016 IEEE.
cited By 0; Conference of 6th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2016 ; Conference Date: 13 October 2016 Through 16 October 2016; Conference Code:126376
Ekanath Srihari Rangan and Krishna Das, “A systematic methodology to transform campuses in the developing world into sustainable communities”, in GHTC 2016 - IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference: Technology for the Benefit of Humanity, Conference Proceedings, USA, 2016, pp. 466-473.