Solar energy is mostly used in non-commercial forms. However, solar energy is the most frequently used form of energy in day to day life. The most common uses of solar energy in Sri Lanka include drying, heating and electricity production.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems
The annual solar insolation across the country ranges from 4.5–6.0kWh/m2/day, which is more than adequate for applications of solar PV technologies and large scale power generation facilities. The CEB pioneered the introduction of solar PV technology in Sri Lanka during early 1980’s, and later they saw a significant growth due to the dedicated efforts of the private sector. About 127,000 households use solar PV systems at present.
The National Engineering Research and Development (NERD) Centre played a very important role in popularising grid-assisted battery charging systems for lighting and television usage in Sri Lanka. The NERD Centre was also instrumental in popularising solar thermal systems for producing hot water and solar thermal applications for vegetable drying.
Domestic solar PV systems
Solar powered drip irrigation
Solar water pumping schemes provide clean water supplies to remote homes in dry zone, and will drastically improve the standard of living conditions of rural communities. The electric power produced by the solar panel is used to pump water to an elevated tank and various activities can be organised within a small community. This system not only provides clean water for drinking and washing but also provides enough water for food production, and enables to initiates small businesses within the community. Fruit and vegetable farming will produce required food throughout the year without having to rely on rainy seasons. Organised tree plantation is necessary around the system to manage ground water and the trees will provide effective carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere.
Solar powered drip irrigation scheme. This has an inbuilt tracking system so as to enable the solar panel orient facing the sun.
Solar powered electric fences
Solar powered electric fence in Ehatuwewa – Kurunegala
Solar powered street lamps
Solar powered street lamps in Monaragala