5 Made for India Solar Innovations

Highlights :

(By Muthu Selvan, Regional Senior Expert, SMA Solar India)

5 Made for India Solar Innovations
Muthu Selvan, Regional Senior Expert, SMA Solar India

India as a country is blessed with an abundance of sunlight and this along with the current political thrust towards solar energy is the right time to make solar power popular in the country. As of 2022, India had 61.97 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity, placing it fourth globally for solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment, and the growth trajectory has only improved with time. In the last five years, the country’s solar installed capacity has experienced an astronomical increase from 21,651 MW to 70,096 MW in 2023. The recent interim Budget 2024, has proposed over Rs 11,500 crore combined funding for Solar Power (Grid), the National Green Hydrogen Mission, and Wind Power (Grid) projects for the financial year ended March 2025. This brings in a lot of focus on renewable energy including solar energy.

Improved Solar Panel

The Indian solar energy sector is always striving towards enhancement and innovation to make it more viable and convenient for people across the country. Innovations are continuously being made to improve the efficiency of solar panels and increase their capacity. Efforts are being made to make advancements in materials, manufacturing techniques, and cell design, all of which contribute to the continuous improvement of solar panels. With better and improved panels there is an obvious increase in energy output making it a more cost-effective source of energy, both for residential and commercial use.

AI helps better prediction

Artificial Intelligence is being used extensively in the renewable energy sector to predict the maintenance of energy sources. In solar energy space, the energy grid is a complex infrastructure and requires real-time decisions that are precise, and the use of Big Data helps in making informed decisions. AI algorithms predict grid capacity levels and can also help in time-based trading as well as pricing. With the latest innovation in cloud computing, there are virtual power plants that supplement the power generation from utilities. Many startups actively use Big Data analytics for model designing in the solar energy space.

Innovation in photovoltaics

The photovoltaic system is the most important part of solar energy installation. The latest innovation in the PV system has helped both in installations as well as increasing the output. The integrated PVs have minimized the use of additional land in installation, which has been a major breakthrough. The latest innovation has led to the development of thin-film cells that are used to make flexible solar panels which are lightweight, cost-effective and at the same time environment friendly.

Concentrated Power

Another game-changer in the field of solar energy is moving towards concentrated solar power. This has opened a huge potential for large-scale solar farms.  This modern innovation helps in concentrating sunlight onto a small area using mirrors or lenses. Since the sunlight is focused into a small area, the intensity of the heat generated is more and this drives the turbines to produce solar energy at a much faster pace. The CSP technology has led to increased power generation and has made solar energy a compelling choice for solar power generation.

Big on Microinverters

While industrial use of solar energy is on a robust path, the actual conversion to renewable energy is possible only when residential use of solar energy becomes a reality in India. And one innovation that is changing the landscape is the use of microinverters. These inverters transform the DC power to AC power as used in households. While the cost of installing a rooftop inverter might be high, the advent of these micro inverters is easy on the pocket as only one inverter is sufficient for solar power generation. With microinverters becoming a household reality, India is moving towards making solar energy a sustainable reality.

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