As many as 44,000 micro solar domes will be provided to poor households in rural areas of 10 states under a project to provide clean energy at an affordable price. This is under the aegis of a project led by IIT-Kharagpur. “Poor families are often unable to afford the grid- connected electricity while others may find disruption of power supply due to natural disasters,” the instiute said in a press release. The ‘micro solar dome’ project, being implemented in collaboration with the NB Institute of Rural Technology, could provide a solution to the problem, it said.
The micro solar dome (MSD) is a day and night lighting single device unique in its features, that has a transparent semi-spherical upper dome made of acrylic material which captures the sunlight and the light passes through a sun-tube having a thin layer of highly reflective coating on the inner wall of the passage.
The project intends to provide 44,000 micro solar domes in households of marginalised (SC and ST) communities in rural areas in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Assam, Odisha, Tripura, Manipur, Rajasthan, and Bihar, the institute said. Around 20,000 micro solar domes are to be installed in the first phase from November 2019 to February 2020, according to the statement.
Prof. Priyadarshi Patnaik, Joint Project Investigator from IIT Kharagpur, said, “Micro solar domes will be given to households based on their need.” With funding from the Department of Science and Technology of the central government, the institute has initiated the unique project to push for “solar energy adaptation among marginalised rural communities”.
The project will help to light up homes of those who are either not connected to the conventional power grid or face irregular power supply for some reasons, the statement added. A micro solar dome operates as a clean energy source during day and night hours, an official said, adding that it is ideal for slums and rural houses. In the first phase of the project, solar domes will be installed while the second will involve research and development.
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