Oct 18, 2016: Indian government will soon offer a solar lighting solution to 10 million families living in slums areas where sunlight does not reach inside the rooms. For this, the government will spend Rs 10,000 million to give subsidies under a two-year project.
The innovative solar gadget
Kolkata-based Renewable Energy College has invented a new gadget called Sunlight capturing gadget, which, when installed on the rooftop, sends sunlight inside rooms where even windows cannot let sunlight in. The gadget uses a special dome and a reflective cylinder to send sunlight inside dark rooms in slum areas.The sunlight-capturing gadget has a bowl-shaped lower dome, the upper side of which is attached to a reflective cylinder.
The upper side of this cylinder is attached to another dome, which is a transparent semi-spherical object like a transparent inverted bowl. This captures the sunlight during the day even and passes it down through the tube with a thin layer of mirror like reflective coating. The lower dome spreads the light inside the room. The upper dome, the solar panels, and a part of the cylinder remains on the roof.
When there is no sunlight, or at night, the gadget operates on batteries charged with solar panels which will be able to light LED bulbs installed inside homes.
Part of the cylinder, lower dome and batteries fitted with LED lights are kept inside the room, maybe on the ceiling. A solar panel is then attached to the dome that charges a battery which will provide light during night. This gadget will be able to power a home for at least 17 hours during summer and a atleast 13 hours during winters.
The batteries used are powerful enough to charge faster and store energy to provide light for three nights.
The subsidised price
According to S P Gon Chaudhuri, chairman ofRenewable Energy College, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has already promised Rs 5000 million for this project, and is also considering another Rs 5000 million to be paid as subsidies. This gadget will be sold at a price of just Rs 1,100 after subsidy.If the additional subsidy of Rs 5000million is also approved by the government, the cost of the gadget will come down to just Rs 600.
Manufacturing & distribution of the gadgets
The Department of Science and Technology has already invited expression of interest for manufacturing these gadgets and almost 30 manufacturers from 13 states have been shortlisted.
The gadgets will be distributed through state agencies and non-government organisations that usually work in slum areas. Initially,10 million gadgets will be distributed in a span of two years. In apilot project, a few thousand gadgets have been distributed at some slum areas in Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Tripura and Kolkata.
Renewable Energy College is also trying to make a version of this gadget that can be plugged to the grid during night for the homes that have access to power supply sources.