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Conventional solar energy has been very expensive.
Most of the rural poor still cannot afford the prices of even simple lanterns that provide only marginal light for a few hours.

Pegasus Semiconductor has managed to reduce the cost of project implementation by more than 50% through adoption of the latest technologies. Using the latest innovations in power saving devices and energy generation methods, we have made these products more affordable.

The Conventional Solution
For quite some time now, SOLAR ENERGY has been offered as a promise to provide mankind a way to increase the useful hours after sunset. However, this promise has been largely unfulfilled and solar energy has not seen the full potential largely due to the high costs of implementation.

Why is solar energy expensive?
Since the invention of solar cells, PV panels have used single crystal silicon which is the same material used by the Integrated Circuit (semiconductor) industry. The Crystalline silicon based solar panels are very expensive because on they are based on solar cells (the building block for panels) made from single crystal silicon.
Crystalline silicon is also very expensive because (a) This is the same material used in semiconductor or IC manufacturing and is hence of very high purity level. Solar cells do not require this level of purity but conventionally the industry has made use of scrap or left-over silicon from the IC industry. (b) The thickness of a silicon wafer is about 500 microns while the layer at the top which converts light to electricity is only 1 micron thick. The rest of this expensive material is used only as a “substrate” to provide mechanical support. This has led to research into alternate “thin film” technologies where only a thin layer of semiconducting material is deposited onto cheaper substrates like glass or steel. There is also a global shortage of silicon feedstock – the starting material to make high purity wafers.

What is different about our technology?
While conventional solar solutions are based on expensive crystalline silicon material and CFL based lamps (hence they are much more expensive), our systems use high efficiency low energy Light Emitting Diodes (LED) which consume much less power and hence are more economical. LEDs also last much longer and provide soothing white light.

We have adopted this technology as a cost reduction measure and we use “Amorphous Silicon” solar panels. These are slightly less in efficiency and hence slightly larger in size compared to crystalline silicon panels. However, the costs are reduced and we believe that this makes more economic sense. These Thin Film Solar solutions can power these lighting systems even in cloudy weather situations.



Benefits of LED based solar lights

  • No laying down electrical wires and digging hassles required which usually consume close to a month’s time for completion
  • Zero electricity running cost for solar based lights
  • Payback periods of less than 3-4 years
  • High durability of solar panels and LEDs. Both solar panels and LEDs last for more than 10 years. In comparison, the conventional sodium and CFL lamps typically require replacement twice every year
  • Less heat emission and easy disposal due to absence of harmful substances like mercury and lead
  • Higher color temperature of light
  • 80% depreciation benefits
  • Subsidy available on solar power packs for more than 1 kW installation
  • Carbon Credits may be availed for large installations
  • Cleaner and Greener environment to breathe!!


Comparison between LED and Conventional Lighting Solutions

 
Incandescent Bulbs
CFLs
LEDs
Life Span (in hours)
1,500
10,000
60,000
Watts
60
14
6
Cost
30.0
120.0
1,200.0
Electricity Cost (@ Rs 6 per KWh) for 60k hours
21,600.0
5,040.0
2,160.0
Bulbs needed
40
6
1
Equivalent 60k hour bulb expense
1,200
720
1,200
Total 60,000 Hour Lighting Spend (Rs)
22,800.0
5,760.0
3,360.0



The future and promise of Thin Film technology

Currently, we use amorphous panel as a way of reducing cost of the system. However, this is just the beginning. There has been considerable progress made in the area of “Thin films technologies” and the shortage of silicon has lead to considerable investment and progress in the area of “Non-silicon” based thin film solutions. There is consensus among world experts that the demand for solar will be insatiable or “infinite” if the price of solar panels can be brought down to below $2/Watt. At these prices, PV can become competitive with conventional sources of electricity.  Silicon technology is a very mature technology and the cost reductions are highly unlikely. On the other hand, newer non-silicon based thin film technologies offer the promise of low costs and high efficiencies. There are several technologies such as CdTe, CIGS and multiple junction amorphous technologies that can be produced at much lower costs. Also, they can be made on flexible substrates, thus providing alternatives for new applications. Our goal is to further reduce the costs of our systems to a point where our products can compete with conventional electrical solutions and be able to be sold at a retail level for widespread adoption.

 
 
 
   
 
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