Mumbai: Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, launched the ‘Solar Power Tree’ recently in the national capital. Developed by the CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI), a constituent laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), 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 utilized for solar energy harnessing along with farming at the same time. The innovation finds its viability both in rural and urban areas.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, while appreciating the efforts of the scientists of the CSIR-CMERI, added 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, also present on the occasion, 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.