Solar Power in the coming days shall become an important source of energy because the leading energy sources are running out. Also, when electricity is generated from the fossil fuels, they lead to enormous levels of environment pollution. Hence, it is wise to shift to renewable sources of energy to bring down the pollution levels. Many research institutions across the globe are continuously doing their research work on identifying the prospective energy sources. In a similar mission, Durgapur-based Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) has developed a “Solar Tree” that can meet the energy requirements of at least five households. An advantage of this solar tree is it can be installed in only 4 square feet of space. While a conventional photovoltaic setup requires 400 square feet of land to produce 5 kW of Solar Power, these Solar Trees can produce the same quantity of energy in a much less space.
This arrangement developed by the scientists of CMERI has surely got some advantage.
The structural design of the Solar Tree
The Solar Power Tree resembles a tree like structure with branches at different levels and each branch can hold multiple photovoltaic panels. It can be installed on the rooftop of a building or on either side of the highways. The tree-like design holds the solar panels at a much higher level as compared to the conventional layout on ground and thus it gets more sun rays in a day. It can also be rotated to equip the photovoltaic panels with more sunlight. The scientists have also incorporated a water sprinkler at the top for self-cleaning of the solar panels.
Inauguration of the Solar Tree by the Union Science and Technology Minister
The Solar Tree was inaugurated in the month of May this year by Union Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan. After witnessing this innovation, the minister requested Dr. Sibnath Maity, the chief scientist of CSIR-CMERI who also spearheaded the project, to install two Solar Trees one each at the Office of the Ministry of Science and Technology and at Dr. Harsh Vardhan’s bungalow in Delhi. The trees were installed on July 1 this year.
Impressed with the technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan also stated that he will request other Ministries to use these Solar Trees since they are not only eco-friendly but would also would help to cut down electricity bills significantly.
The streets of Durgapur may soon be illuminated with Solar Powered lights
Dr. Maity further said that Durgapur Municipal Corporation has approached the institute to provide them 10 Solar Trees. The municipal authorities shall install the trees in selected locations of the city. And if the model works well, then they will install more Solar Trees to power up all the street lights of the city.
The technology has been licensed to M/S Vibes Solar Solution India LLP, Kolkata. CMERI has also held talks with five other companies to license them the technology of the Solar Tree.
Advantages of using these Solar Trees
The Solar Trees are cost-effective. The cost of production will further go down if economies of scale are achieved. The vertical arrangements of the solar panels is an added advantage and it solves the ever growing land related problems. With multiple advantages on its side, this technology surely has the potential to get bigger in the coming days.