An innovative Solar Power Tree was launched by Union Minister for Science & Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi. The Tree has vast potential in utilizing cultivable land for solar energy harnessing along with farming at the same time. The Solar Power Tree harnesses solar energy for producing electricity with an innovative vertical arrangement of solar cells, thus reducing the land requirement.It has been developed by the CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI). The innovation finds its viability both in rural and urban areas.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, said that the Solar Power Tree innovatively addresses the challenge of increasing demand for Green Energy by gainfully utilizing scarce land resources in the country. Further, the Minister noted that in order to produce 1 MW of solar power it requires about 3.5 acres of land in the conventional layout of solar panels. Thus, for any State in the country to survive on green energy, there will be requirement of thousands of acres of land. Acquisition of land is a major issue in itself, he added.
Dr. Girish Sahni, DG, CSIR informed that the device has been functioning effectively at three places in West Bengal as a pilot project. As a future prospect, the Solar Power Tree would be developed in a rotatable module, which would have a motorized mechanism to align itself with the movement of the Sun during the day. Hence, it would be possible to harness 10-15% more power over and above the current capacity.
Solar Power Tree Salient Features
•It takes only 4 square feet of land for a 5 KW Solar Power tree, whereas in a conventional layout, it requires 400 square feet of land.
•By holding the photovoltaic panels at a higher height, on an average it gets more sunrays for one hour in a day. As a result, it is possible to harness 10-15% more power in comparison to a conventional layout on ground.
•It has a battery back-up of 2 hours on full load, hence giving light even after sunset.
•It is facilitated with water sprinkler at the top for self-cleaning of panels, that increases the efficiency of the solar panels.
•The estimated cost of the device is around Rs. 5 Lakh for a 5 KW specification.