Portable Solar Tracking Towers Developed by IIT Delhi

Highlights :

  • In the new solar tracking towers, the solar panels generate more energy due to high efficient reflective mirrors used and panels can generate more energy even in non-peak hours.
  • For commercial installation, IIT Delhi has given license to EP Sunsol Private Limited.
Portable Solar Tracking Towers Developed by IIT Delhi

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi (IIT-Delhi) have developed solar photovoltaic tracking towers that are portable. The new towers are of 3 kW and 5 kW capacity that can save time and the owners can operate them mechanically and also non-mechanically.

The premier institution says that the new technology is scalable to higher capacity by simply creating arrays of the towers. In non-mechanical tracking towers, the solar panels are installed vertically in such a manner that they remain in the direct reach of the sunlight from morning to evening. This leads to high performance or electricity generation from solar insolation. The mirrors are also highly reflective.

In the peak hours of solar irradiance, all panels create energy efficiently, but in the novel tower the power generation capacity is more even in the non-peak hours. The non-peak hours fall between 9AM to 11AM and 2PM to 5PM.

The IIT Delhi developers say that the efficiency is increased due to the highly reflective mirrors used in the towers. The solar panels can generate more power starting from 8 AM in the morning to 5 PM in the evening. Solar irradiance rises to one and a half times and power generation is 20-25 per cent more, says IIT Delhi.

The electricity produced can be used for electric vehicles’ charging, run home appliances, solar pumps and so on.

In the manual tracking towers, a programmed electro mechanical system is created that rotates the tower horizontally. Panels start the day with east facing and end the day with west facing. When the sun rises again next morning the panels had already returned to their east facing position. This happens without LDR sensors.

“After intensive research, we succeeded in arriving at the light weight and the cost effective novel design on mounting solar PV towers with high reflective mirrors to allow the sun’s movement. Both non-mechanical and mechanical solar towers can generate 20-25 per cent and 25-30 per cent more power respectively while utilising only 50-60 per cent rooftop space compared to traditional ones,” said Professor Dalip Singh Mehta, IIT Delhi.

The new towers require just single axis tracking and consumes low power to operate itself. IIT Delhi has patented both the technologies and EP Sunsol Private Limited has been licensed by the institute for commercial installation of the technology.

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