Due to its continuous economic growth, India is one of the largest energy consumers in the world and its energy demand continues to rise with a growth rate of 2.8%. To overwhelm the energy poverty, a huge amount of power generation has to be added quickly. However, induction of additional thermal power plants will be violative of the UN Climate Framework. Extreme weather risks of recent decades caused by pollution have to be seriously considered by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Energy-Water-Food nexus will also be a factor. Many countries in the developed world are striving to achieve energy efficiency enhancement and increased use of renewables by 2020, when the Kyoto Protocol will expire. India has recently announced 175 GW solar goals by 2022 target with addition of more than 57,000 ground-mount solar PV (photovoltaic) stations. There are major problems associated with the solar PV systems such as the large area requirement, cost escalation because of tracking and special mounting, alignment of panels along site-specific directions, temperature dependent efficiency reduction and hence the inflated number of panels required. What we propose here is an innovative rearrangement of the top-plate of the panel, from a single flat plate to a collapsible, 4-plate pyramid. This will be a Universal design as it is not latitude specific and hence will have a tighter field packing, thus reducing land area requirement. Efficiency will improve by temperature reduction of PV cells. The mounting and tracking costs will also be eliminated.
By incorporating innovative ideas, we have successfully arrived at a novel design for the development of indigenous solar modules for deployment in the upcoming large solar PV power stations. First of all, this will pave the way for saving valuable lands which could otherwise be used for other pressing needs. Secondly, huge reduction in cost will result by eliminating the necessity for expensive support structures and tracking units. Thirdly, site selection and plant layout will be easier because of the fact that this design is truly universal, as no direction-specific arrangement is necessary. This is true for any site in any part of the globe because the PV panel performance will not be affected by the latitude. The poor performance resulting from the unacceptable operating temperatures can be mitigated by our proposed design because of the possibility for better convection heat transfer and the cell substrate is far-removed from the glass superstrate. This last aspect has yet to be tested under real operating conditions and we believe that there will be a leap in PV panel output and the system will perform as we envisaged. There is ample scope for further work.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: Mukilan Suresh
Type of entry: individual
Patent status: none