Vardhan launches ‘Solar Power Tree’

New Delhi : Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan today launched the 5 KW 'Solar Power Tree' which is an innovation aimed at utilising minimum land to harness maximum Solar Energy. It has been developed by the CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI), a constituent laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur, has designed and developed a Solar Power Tree to help harness maximum solar energy utilising minimum land. The device aims to address the biggest hurdle of getting a piece of land of desired size to harness green energy.

Addressing mediapersons after inaugrating the Solar Tree at his official residence here, Dr Vardhan, while appreciating the efforts of the scientists of the CSIR-CMERI, said the Solar Power Tree innovatively addresses the challenge of increasing demand for Green Energy by gainfully utilising scarce land resources in the country. He said 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 said. Dr Vardhan, while appreciating the strong connect of CSIR with the Industry as well as the Society, emphasised the need for greater partnership and linkage with the stakeholders in order make the indigenously developed technologies reach out to the society.

The Solar Power Tree harnesses solar energy for producing electricity with an innovative vertical arrangement of solar cells. It thus reduces the requirement of land as compared to conventional Solar Photovoltaic layout, on one hand, while keeping the land character intact on the other. Even the cultivable land can be utilised for solar energy harnessing along with farming at the same time.
The innovation finds its viability both in rural and urban areas.

Dr Girish Sahni, DG, CSIR, who was also present on the occasion, said 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 motorised mechanism to align itself with the movement of the Sun during the day. Hence, it would be possible to harness 10-15 per cent more power over and above the current capacity.

Informing about the the main features of the Solar Power Tree, he said 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 per cent more power in comparison to a conventional layout on ground.

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