Chennai tea vendor finds solace in solar power – the New Indian Express


Express news service

CHENNAI: Even with the country grappling with a huge electricity crisis and people struggling to cope with inflated electricity bills, S Dhamodharan, 61, is not tied up. Reason: He made full use of the scorching sun to generate enough electricity to run his tea stand.

“I haven’t spent a single rupee on an electricity bill in the past six months after installing these solar panels,” he said pointing to the two panels in front of his booth inside the Mahindra Tech Park in Chengalpattu. .
The panels together power six mini tubes, a fan, and a radio inside her tea stand.

Dhamodharan’s eyes shine when he talks about environmental friendliness and profitability of panels.
“One day, I was scrolling through YouTube videos at random and I came across some how-to videos about solar panels. That’s when I decided to give it a go and bought two from Amazon, ”he says, brewing a hot cup of ginger tea.

All he had to spend to install the panels was only Rs 20,000, including the cost of labor. “The panels take about six to eight hours to be fully charged. Once ready for use, the battery works for up to two days without having to recharge, ”he says, adding that sunlight is not required at all times. “Even during the rains, the batteries charge if there is nominal light,” he says. A small digital meter connected to the batteries shows how much charge they have left.

Evenings and nights are the best opening hours for Dhamodharan. The main IT parks and businesses are located in Mahindra Tech City, and it’s usually during these hours that employees want to take a break. “Most of them find it comfortable here because there are bright lights,” Dhamodharan explains, pointing to a few new benches he had recently installed.

The pandemic has not spared his business either.

Dhamodharan was earning Rs 3,000-4,000 per day before the onset of Covid-19, which saw a sharp drop to Rs 500 per day. Her small family of three struggled to achieve her goals. However, with the reopening of computer parks and the return of most of the employees to the office, Dhamodharan managed to smile again.

“It’s a valuable investment. First, for platform tea stalls like mine, there are no power lines. If we put more panels and bigger batteries, even the fans can work. For small businesses, it’s a good investment, ”he concludes.


Comments are closed.