Indian scientist designs ‘Solar power tree’ for making solar energy affordable

Sibnath Maity has designed a new solar tree which takes up only four square feet of land and produces 5KW of electricity

New Delhi-Oct 13, 2016. Rednewswire/-

Kerala's Cochin International Airport is the world's only airport that uses solar energy for all its operations. It has a 12W solar power plant which comprises of 46150 solar panels covering a 45 acre land. The plant produces 50,000-60,000 units of electricity daily. Renewable is the way forward to a better India. Many contributions are being made which contribute to the betterment of our living environment.

These inventions not only imply on environment but also making basic necessities available to one and all. A good example of this is Facebook's long endurance solar airplane which claims to make affordable internet accessible to everyone even those who live in remote areas. Developing countries like India can greatly benefit from alternative sources of power. Hence the government is providing subsidies for setting up of solar panels or wind turbines on farmlands or house premises.

However, there is resistance in adapting this technology as the initial cost is very high and requires regular maintenance. Hence, the idea is unfeasible for many people. Moreover, the establishment of solar panels requires a large area of land.

An Indian scientist, Sibnath Maity has invented a new system which solves the main problem associated with solar energy i.e need of large area. He has created a 'Solar power tree' which takes up an area of four sq ft. and is capable of generating 3 KW of electricity. Such an amount of energy is fairly enough for five households. The structure designed looks like a tree with branches at various tiers which can be easily compressed into rooftops or highways.

Sibnath Maity Image Source
Sibnath Maity
Image Source

Sibnath Maity is the chief scientist at Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI). He aims to fulfill the dreams of villagers who have been deprived of electricity since a long time. According to Maity, 80 percent of people in India live in villages who still don't have reach to electricity. Due to the high cost, it is unfeasible for government to provide these villages with electricity.

He says, "Solar energy is the need of the hour; however, people are reluctant to set up solar panels as it is expensive, too. Our life-changing solar tree is aimed at such villages". Maity started with the projected in 2006 but his work was not acknowledged until it was noticed by the government and his solar tree was inaugurated by a Union Minister.

This invention is a blessing for states like Bihar and Bengal where power is yet to reach the backwoods.

He says,

"The cost depends on the requirement. If you need just a 3KW solar tree, it costs INR 3 lakh (US$ 4,500). Some state governments provide up to 30 per cent subsidy for alternative energy setups, while some others 80 per cent. On the top of it, central government also provides some grants. So it is not going to burn a big hole in people’s pocket.”

Even today, villagers in India travel to neighboring villages which are lucky enough to get electricity in order to recharge their cellphones. The government's 'electricity for all' dream is far behind from reality. Maity admits that a solar tree which costs five lakh is a costly investment but with the help of government subsidies it can be made affordable.

Today, Maity has successfully constructed 6 solar trees in different villages across India. He has been receiving queries from Andaman and Nicobar where land availability is a major concern. The scientist has previously invented a 3-wheeler solar vehicle and solar pump. Maity says that the technology is 100 percent efficient and reduces the need for regular maintenance plus has a long life. He aspires to see our nation illuminated in near future.

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