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Space saving ‘non-mechanical’ and ‘mechanical’ tracking solar PV towers of 3kW and 5kW capacity, developed by the IIT Delhi scientists, are scalable to higher capacity with the concept of solar tower array (green energy field). Moreover, the ‘mechanical’ tracking Solar PV tower is portable i.e. the entire unit can be mounted on a truck, made functional and taken anywhere to generate power.
They are useful for Electric Vehicle charging stations, Rooftop high-efficiency solar power generation for independent Houses/ Schools/ Hospitals/ Shops/ Telecom Towers/IT sector and more.
Vehicle mounted solar tower with solar tracking for power generation can be utilized for agriculture purpose (Agri-photovoltaics) such as solar water pumping, charging battery for tractors etc.
Both the systems are patented by IIT Delhi and licensed to Banglore and Mumbai-based EP Sunsol Private Limited for commercial installation. EP Sunsol has already deployed the developed systems at Chennai, IIT Delhi, and Navi Mumbai of 3kW, 4kW and 5kW, respectively.
“After intensive research, we got success in arriving at the light weight and cost-effective novel design on mounting Solar PV towers along with high reflectivity mirrors to follow the Sun movement. Both non-mechanical and mechanical solar towers are able to generate 20-25% and 25-30% more power respectively, while utilizing only 50-60% roof top space compare to conventional solutions,” Prof. Dalip Singh Mehta, Physics Department, IIT Delhi said.
Non-mechanical tracking solar tower: The solar panels along with high reflectivity mirrors are vertically mounted in a particular way (based on location/city) that they fall in the line-of-sight of Sun during morning, mid-day and evening hours, hence leading to high efficiency solar power generation. The mounting methodology helps to generate more power during non-peak hours of the Sun i.e. 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. in addition to peak hours 11 to 2 p.m.
The mirrors/reflectors deployed in this solution boosts the irradiance on solar panels during the entire day i.e., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The percentage of increase of solar irradiance onto the solar panels is more than 50% thus maintaining 1000 W/m2 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Due to this increase in solar irradiance from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. the increase in amount of power generated is 20-25 % compared to conventional mounting of solar panels.
Mechanical tracking solar tower: The solar PV tower with reflectors have a low-cost programmable electro-mechanical system to rotate the solar tower horizontally. Single / double tower are mounted in such a mechanism where the whole system with panels and reflectors follows the direction of Sun. The panels start the day facing East direction and end the day with west direction. By the next morning, the panels return back to their East facing position to start a new day. The innovative tracking system developed by IIT Delhi does not require any LDR sensors, requires only single axis tracking and consumes very low power drawn by the same Solar Tower.