Solar Steps: Walking the ‘Green Talk’
At a time when there is a need to bring sustainable power into Goa for a more sustainable, environmentally-healthier and safer future, Sun360, a solar solutions company, has designed a special solar power system that has helped to make Sundowner, a small local eco-resort, entirely sustainable and self-sufficient, in terms of power generation. Café finds out more
creek from Palolem beach, on a little island quite isolated from mainland Goa, stands a
quiet, picturesque little resort with a bar and restaurant, bamboo guest huts,
and equipped with its own sewage treatment plant – all of which are entirely
run using a specially designed power system that harnesses solar energy. The
Sundowner eco-resort is as eco-friendly as they come – a feature that has
become its major USP.
was established in October 2017 by German Kim Wichmann. Owing to the resort
being cut off from electricity and water supply, Kim initially opted to rely on
a diesel generator working 14 hours a day to meet all his power requirements –
operating lights and fans, refrigerator and other kitchen appliances, and the
on-site sewage treatment plant. Spending Rs 1500 a day for a couple of months,
the generator proved to be a money-guzzle; and worse-still, an environmental
nemesis, that would have created a huge carbon footprint of10,000 kg CO2 emissions
by the end of the season –requiring 458 trees to absorb the same amount of CO2
In stepped Sun360, a
solar solutions company headquartered in Vasco Da Gama, and the innovative
company behind Sundowner’s eco-friendly power system. Sun360 was approached by
Kim December 2017; in search of more a cost-effective and eco-friendly means of
power generation. Following an in-depth analysis of the resort’s consumption
pattern, Sun360 designed a robust and resilient power system.
Spread across the
3200 square meters resort property, the power system, comprises a 3KW High Tech
Inverter, 2.9KWp solar panels, and 4 gel-based maintenance-free batteries. The
system also has a ‘Remote Monitoring& Controlling System’ which means that
the system performance can be remotely tracked and controlled through the
internet. Anish Sousa, Founder and CEO of Sun360, adds, “‘SUN360’s operations
team continuously monitors Sundowner’s solar power system. As soon as we
identify that the system performance has dipped, our operations team
immediately springs into action. Also, based on the changing weather patterns,
changes in the system settings can be done immediately from our Sun360 office,
thereby allowing us to clock a virtual service time of less than 15 minutes,
which is way above the industry benchmark for manual service being currently
power system has a power factor close to ‘unity’ – this means that the system
can handle full load, and comes with a fool-proof means of protection against
overload, while providing appliances with stable conditioned power .The system
also has an in-built automatic generator-starter, which automatically cranks up
the backup diesel generator when required and switches it off when not – the
system therefore functions independently, with nearly zero need for manual
intervention With these features in place, Kim’s operation cost, in terms of
power for Sundowner, has been reduced to merely Rs 250 per day, saving him
around 2 Lakhs per season.
The resort stays open
during the November to March season: and during the off season, from April to
October, the system is easily disassembled and kept in storage until the next
This year, Sundowner
plans to expand with more guest huts, and will therefore require more batteries
and panels. Sun360 has however designed the system to be modular, which means
that adding more panels, batteries and inverters, is a straightforward process.
It will thus be easy for Kim, as with other small business owners opting for
such interventions, to scale up quickly. Furthermore, despite being operated
only during season time, Sundowner’s solar power system is estimated to pay for
itself within a few seasons – thereafter, Kim’s power can be deemed free!
Anish adds, “If more
and more small business owners become self-sufficient in terms of power, not
only will the carbon footprint in Goa reduce tremendously, but also the local
economy will receive a significant impetus, creating more jobs in the state in
a sustainable manner.”
Sundowner isn’t the first
project to benefit from Sun360’s solar power solutions. Aiming to “create a
better tomorrow, today,” Sun360 is in the business of designing solar
energy-based power systems for every purpose, from private homes to big
factories to commercial enterprises like Sundowner, and has been involved in
such projects across the country.
itself as “a clean tech company which prides itself on dedicated customer
service and innovativsolutions”, Sun360 provides turnkey solutions for off-grid
and on grid applications in the commercial, industrial and residential sectors.
Having done projects that include a 10000 litre solar water heating system at
Bambolim, Taj Exotica, Honeywell Technologies, Healthway Hospital, BITS Pilani
(Goa Campus) ,a system for Basilica de Bom Jesus, Old Goa, solar-powered
security fencing for Honeywell in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, and solar power for a
food truck; SUN360’s customized solutions aim at harnessing the abundantly
available, natural resource that is the sun, sustainable – of particular
importance in an increasingly unsustainable era.
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