Union Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who unveiled the system, said the low cost, micro solar dome named ?Surya Jyoti? would be a boon to millions of Indians, who do not have reliable access to electricity. The device has been developed under the aegis of Department of Science and Technology.
?The potential users of this device are 10 million households living in slums in Indian cities, or villages in inaccessible terrains. It has the potential of saving 1750 million units of energy, resulting in an emission reduction of about 12.5 million ton of CO2,? said Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
The micro solar dome captures sunlight through a transparent semi spherical upper dome and concentrates it inside a dark room. The light passes through a sun-tube with a layer of high reflective coating on the inner wall of the passage. �It also contains a lower dome, with a shutter at the bottom, that can be closed if light is not required during day time. It is leak proof and works for almost 18 hours a day ? throughout the day and six hours after sunset.
[caption id="attachment_1738" align="alignright" width="300"] Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan unveiling hybrid solar lighting device. Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Science Y.S. Chowdary (Right) and the Secretary Science & Technology Prof. Ashuthosh Sharma (Left)[/caption]
The device has undergone extensive testing at TERI University, IIT Mumbai, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Kolkata and field trials were conducted in slums of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. �TERI has confirmed, the illumination level of the lightgoes as high as a 15W LED bulb.
The minister said, the photovoltaic micro solar dome costs about Rs. 1200/- and the non-photovoltaic version around Rs. 500/-. He said, the cost is expected to get further reduced once the manufacturing is scaled up to commercial scale.
Prof. S.P. Gon Chaudhuri, Director of NBIRT said, it took 18 months of research to make the device, which is now ready for transfer of technology to any manufacturer.
?Conventional solar devices do not capture passive energy. It works only through storage battery. But here it is a combination. It is hybrid. That is during day light, you are not using the battery or the solar panels. Sunlight is used in a guided mode. This is the difference between Surya Jyoti and conventional solar lights. When you work with photovoltaic (PV), it is called active, while when it works with direct sunshine, it is called passive. So this combination gives you 18 hours of light ? active six hours and passive 12 hours,? explained Prof. Gon Chaudhuri.
Prof. Gon Chaudhuri said, the device can be operated though conventional switch or using a remote control. He said , it is maintenance free and has a life of 15 years, while the life of photovoltaic panel is 25 years.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, he hopes to scale up mass production of ?Surya Jyoti? and future linkages with subsidies under various schemes of Ministries of Urban Development, Rural Development and New and Renewable Energy.