Meet ‘Solar Suresh’, The Chennai Man Who Powers His Home And Does Not Need LPG To Cook

With a huge canopy and an array of bamboo trees and climbers, 71-year-old Suresh’s home in Chennai’s Kilpauk area stands out. At his home, which is solar-powered, he grows his own food on the terrace garden, has a water harvesting system and a bio-gas unit, making it completely self-sustained and eco-friendly.

A graduate from IIT-Madras and IIM-Ahmedabad, Mr Suresh vouches for the fact that homes can be powered through a completely non-polluting and sustainable way using solar power. During one of his visits to Germany, he realised that when a country with hardly any sunlight can have a solar panel installed in every house and office, then why not India, which enjoys sunlight almost through the year. 


Taking ‘practice before you preach’ motto seriously, Mr Suresh has implemented all green aspects in his house. School and college students take a tour of his house every day and learn about easy and efficient methods to save energy.

His philosophy, he said, is, “Do not expect the government to come up with solutions for you, assist the government in finding solutions.”

He hopes to take solar message to every house in the country. “Solar is ideal for rural people where there is no electricity. With two lights and two fans for Rs 20-25,000, their whole lifestyle changes. Even during the evenings, they can work and study,” said Mr Suresh. 

One of the major hurdles he faced was finding a suitable rooftop solar plant vendor and a solar inverter. Mr Suresh had installed a 1KW plant in 2012 and in 3 years, he had scaled it to 3KW powering 11 fans, 25 lights, a refrigerator, 2 computers, a water pump, 2 television sets, a mixer-grinder, a washing machine and an inverter AC.

Mr Suresh’s house has not seen any power cuts for 5 years. The house also does not need any LPG connection. The floods in 2015 and cyclone in 2016 could also not turn the power off at his self-sustainable house. “The day we saw a power cut in our locality, I switched on all the lights of my house. Neighbours may envy me, but my intention is to demonstrate that all this is workable, viable and people should be doing this,” he said. 

As Chennai faces water shortage, Mr Suresh also does not have to pay thousands of rupees on tankers. Taking a leaf out of his school science textbooks, he has constructed a rainwater harvesting system using layers of pebbles, charcoal and sand. A similar system has also been designed in his house where no manual watering is required and it always stays lush green.

Suresh calls his biogas plant the best waste management system. He collects organic waste and leftover food from his kitchen and neighbourhood households and uses it as raw material for his biogas plant, which cost Rs 40,000 and fuels his cooking needs. This rich manure helps him grow tomatoes, spinach, lemons and ladies’ fingers in his terrace garden.

“Today, you all don’t buy an ordinary TV but only smart TVs which cost Rs 50,000 – Rs 1 lakh. When you make that kind of investment on TV, do you calculate how many movies you see a month? No. You buy it for comfort, convenience and entertainment. Solar is like that. Buy it for comfort.”

Through students’ visits at his home, he wants to inculcate responsibility in them early on and teach them the values of going green, reducing carbon footprints and saving energy for a sustainable future. “Get ‘solarized’ is my only message,” he said.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Sir
    Kudos. It is really inspiring and motivating. Can you give details of the solar system, so that we can also chip in our part and contribute to our nation building though in a very very small way.

  2. Sir,
    Where do we get the bio gas plant shown in the picture ?
    Excellent work and all of us should do such things at home so we can live in a friendly environment not only for us but for the future generation.

  3. Thanks Shuresh Sir. May I get a little more details of your solar power system? Perhaps this needs cost effective battery also, which are to be changed after some period of using. Thank u again

  4. Really it is very impressive and hope it can be installed by many of us. Please share detail about its suppliers and expert to get it installed.

    Regards
    Shams
    Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

  5. Sir, I fully appreciate this. May I request you place the facts along with financials so that we can plan it accordingly.

  6. We all know about solar but we are somewhere reluctant to invest in a long run. Mr. Suresh example has definitely motivated all of us. Can I have Mr. Suresh and dealers contact details.
    Thanks.

  7. everytime NDTV comes up with such news the added info they can give is the contact no.of such people who make a difference and think differently.

  8. Very Very inspiring story. For him, to make such an arrangement that is both eco friendly and self sustainable, it might have took so many years of hard work and brilliant thinking. I guess his story must be a case study in MBA’s….

  9. Vanakkam Mr. suresh

    I have gone past your house many times but I missed this opportunity to visit you. I hope we should catch up soon to learn more about roof gardening and solar panel from your place.

    Nandri

  10. Hat’s off to Suresh Sir. I request him to mention the details of his Solar equipment, i.e. the Company’s name, etc. and the present Price for having such a magnificent equipment.
    I also congratulate Smita T.K. , Richa Taneja, NDTV and the whole crew for reporting such a Master piece of Art which is the Need of the Hour.
    -MM SRINIVAS, Advocate, GUNTUR, A.P.

  11. Amazing personality – Thanks NDTV for highlighting such a sustainable model. All Indian Janata must start thinking this way and take time out to create such eco-friendly solutions . Can we please have “Solar Suresh” contact I need to have him as consultant for implementing eco-friendly solutions in my Housing society . Thanks & Hats-off to Suresh Sir. He is TRUE INDIAN !!

  12. I am from Bihar, my state can benefit a great deal from the ideas and working solutions found by this great soul Thiru Suresh. He should share the step-by-step procedure on how to set up this kind of home and include the addresses of vendors he knows so that other citizens can benefit from his inventions.

  13. Excellent !! If everyone could do something to save our earth, it could help us to be healthier both physically & mentally. Even cost effective. Mr Suresh should be definitely appreciated for his work. There should be many more who could bring out such innovative ideas to save our environment. Kudos to Mr Suresh!!!

  14. Worth emulating by every household in the country. Simply marvellous and doable. We can reduce our dependence on government for water supply and power.
    Keep it up Sir! We are proud of you.

  15. Sir & NDTV,
    I humbly request you to document and keep this rich knowledge in reach to everyone in the society. I am grateful to Suresh that he has designed such an invaluable process. However, I strongly feel that the entire process should be published and not lost. Sir, please think of a suitable you think is good and make it reachable to all.

  16. Kudos to Mr Suresh for doing simple things and yet getting such amazing results without depending on anyone. Truly proves that self help is the best help. Thanks and appreciation to NDTV also for bringing forward such an amazing positive story of inspiration rather than focus only on the sensational news. Thank you

  17. I am now studying 12th standard.I always imagined my future house like this.I will do everything in my power to do this.I honestly respect you sir.Keep spreading this message to everyone.I will do it too.

  18. We have a lot to learn to move into self=sustaining mode. how can we contact Mr Suresh ? If one can emulate even a part of his innovativeness, and gradually encompass his whole gamut of home modifications, then India & Indians will be the toast of the world.

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