THE HELP CENTER

Get Answers to Your Questions

1. Composting

1.1 Does compost have any value as a fertilizer?

Yes, because decomposed materials have some nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium content even though in small amounts. The addition of garden fertilizers to speed up decomposition supplies some of the nutrients as well.

1.2 What are the best materials for composting?

Most plant material can be used for composting. Leaves are perhaps the best material because of their availability and organic content; however, other types of organic materials such as animal manures, grass clippings, vegetable refuse, small tree limbs and shrub trimmings, coffee grounds, and rotted sawdust are considered good composting materials. Do not compost diseased plants, weeds with seeds, or invasive weeds such as morning glory and nut grass; avoid composting feces, meat products, or materials contaminated with chemicals.

1.3 What is meant by Carbon to Nitrogen ratios?

When combining any organic materials to make compost, the concept of carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio is critical. The micro-organisms in compost use carbon for an energy source, and nitrogen for making proteins. The proportion of these two elements used by the micro-organisms averages about 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen. Given a steady diet at this 30:1 ratio they can work on organic material very quickly. The larger the number the greater the amount of carbon in proportion to nitrogen and the slower the decomposing process. Sawdust has a very high C:N ratio and decomposes fairly slowly unless some additional nitrogen is supplied. Grass clippings have a relatively low C:N ratio and decompose relatively quickly. Providing a mixture of high and low C:N materials usually results in better or faster decomposition than too much of either material.

1.4 How can I use compost?

Compost can be used to enrich the garden, to improve the soil around trees and shrubs, as a soil amendment for houseplants and when screened, as a part of seed-starting mix or lawn top dressing.

2. Rain Water Harvesting (RWH)

2.1 Why should I implement Rain Water Harvesting?

Rainwater is the ultimate source of all the fresh water that we use. In India, rainfall occurs in short periods of high intensity, allowing the rain falling on the surface to flow away fast. This leaves little scope for recharging the groundwater, which results in water scarcity in most parts of the country. Through RWH, this erratic rainfall can be conserved, stored & used as per convenience, either directly or for recharging groundwater.

2.2 What is the cost involved?

The cost will vary depending upon the catchment area and the conveyance/ storage structures finalised. RWH can be installed at a very low cost in large plots where public buildings, schools & colleges are located, and this cost is negligible to the total construction cost, if integrated with the building design.

If planned in an existing building, the cost is higher due to extra plumbing involved, but the returns are rich in terms of recurring benefits. 

2.3 What are the characteristics of a good RWH system?

The RWH system must ensure that not a drop of rainwater falling within the premises is let into the sewerage or wasted as runoff. This can be achieved only if the method adopted within the premises satisfies the following criteria:

  • Completeness: Both rooftop and driveway runoff water must be harvested.

  • Apportioning of water: To avoid overload of any one system, leading to overflow and loss.

  • Proper design: Volume of water likely to flow through and the nature of the soil in the area should be considered.

  • Maintainability: Design should incorporate features allowing for periodic maintenance of the structure.

2.4 What are the benefits of RWH ?

The benefits include:

  • Flood mitigation: Appropriately designed recharge structures in open public spaces, will help keep the roads from flooding. When water is not allowed to leave the premises, the chances of it choking up the roads are minimal.

  • Increasing groundwater levels: Marked improvement of both the quantity as well as the quality of the groundwater in areas which have implemented rainwater harvesting

  • Greater water availablity: Rainwater collected in storage tanks is available as and when needed

  • Prevents soil erosion and flooding especially in urban areas

3. Solar Power Systems

3.1 What is net metering?

Net metering is the system that utilities use to credit solar energy system owners for the electricity produced by their solar panels. With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate. Net metering policies differ from state to state.

3.2 Can I go off grid with solar panels?

When you install solar panels on your property, you will still be connected to the grid. This allows you to draw from the grid when your system is not producing all of the power that you need, and send power back to the grid when you produce more than you use. It is possible to go off the grid with a solar energy system that includes battery storage, but it will cost significantly more and is unnecessary for the majority of homeowners.

3.3 Is my roof suitable for solar panels?

Southerly-facing roofs with little to no shade and enough space to fit a solar panel system are ideal for installing solar. However, in many cases there are workarounds if your home doesn’t have the ideal solar roof. Contact us to learn more about all of your options; all installation offers are based on images of your actual roof.

3.4 What size solar energy system should I get?

The size of your solar energy system will depend on how much electricity you use on a monthly basis, as well as the space availability where you live. Take a look at your past electricity bills and contact us to determine the best system size for your needs.

4. Biogas

4.1 Why is it beneficial to produce biogas?

Utilization of waste from an enterprise always costs money. If utilization does not cost anything, then it’s probably about creating an environmental hazard. Together with the construction of a biogas complex for the purpose of utilization of industrial waste, a potential profit center is being created at the same time.
For example, cattle manure is not considered to be a waste, but fertilizer on the farm. The Biogas Complex allows a farmer to benefit from the production of biogas, while reducing the level of odors and increasing the quality of organic fertilizers.
In the agro-industrial complex, the biogas complex can be used as the primary waste processing of a particular enterprise, and biogas – to compensate for some energy costs of the enterprise and reduce the amount of recycling of waste.

4.2 What happens to raw materials after biogas production?

Despite the common opinion that the amount of input raw material to fermentation corresponds to the volume of raw material after it, the quality of the raw material improves (virtually no odor, improved fertilizer properties, reduced organic loading and degree of contamination).
The raw material can be divided into solid and liquid fractions, it can also be used as organic bio fertilizer for fields.

4.3 What kinds of waste can produce biogas?

Any kind of organic raw material has the potential of biogas production: crop and livestock waste products, food and processing industries, sugar factories, meat processing plants and slaughterhouses, brewing, etc.
Types of raw materials, with a high content of fibers, for example, wood, are complex and practically unsuitable for biogas production.