The Ministry of Science and Technology has come up with a ‘Solar Power Tree’, an innovative way to generate electricity using solar power in a limited space. Developed by the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), Durgapur, a laboratory of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the solar power tree model is actually designed like a tree with branches made of steel to hold the photovoltaic panel. The technology developed under the leadership of S N Maity, Chief Scientist at CMERI.
“It takes less land of only 4 sq ft for a 5 kW solar power tree as compared to 400 sq ft of land required in case of the conventional solar photovoltaic layout. “It holds the panels at a higher height – thus gets more sun (by 1 hour) in a day in comparison to that of conventional layout on ground. This could also be rotated so that the photovoltaic panel get more sunlight. Thus, it is possible to harness 10-15 per cent more power” Harsh Vardhan said. It has a water sprinkler at the top for self-cleaning of panels. The minister said the solar power tree has no urban or rural barrier for its usage and is also cost effective.
He said, in future, it would be possible to harness 10 per cent more power by rotating panel direction twice in a day by using a module that aligns itself with the movement of sun. Also, aesthetic aspects would be incorporated in the design of solar tree for landscaping. The solar power tree has a capacity to generate 5 KW with a battery backup for 2 hours when under full load. CMERI has licensed the solar tree to M/s Vibes Solar Solution India LLP, Kolkata and process is underway to license the technology to five more companies.