Solar power plants can harness 45 per cent more if the automated dual axis solar tracker system, developed by researchers at Sardar Patel University (SPU) in Gujarat state of India that works on sunflower motion – follows the sun as it moves.
It is the first indigenously designed solar tracker system in India and currently installed at the terrace of SPU’s Department of Physics. It generates up to 1.5 KWh of electricity through 20 multi-crystalline solar panels of 75 watt each.
India receives ample solar radiation in most parts with around 300 to 330 sunny days a year. The tracker system has been designed to provide rotation angles as per the rotation path of sun for the entire year for various regions of the country, said Shreelal Jha, Director (Technical) of the self-financed R&D and consultancy centre for impaired. He along with Dr Jayesh Gandhi, director (operations) of SFRCI developed this system.
The system is designed in a way so the batteries connected in the circuit stores excess power that can be later utilized in absence of solar light like early mornings, late evenings or at nights. The stored power helps in monsoon when solar radiation is uneven or unavailable. The unique auto grid changeover device in the system, takes care of uninterrupted power of 230 volt alternating current (AC) load. The device has a special feature whereby the tracker starts automatically at 5:45 am and shuts down automatically at 6:45 pm.
This system has been designed on sensor-based technology so as to avoid manual programming. It is capable for 3,400 horizontal rotations and 700 vertical rotation movements. The entire structure has been designed to survive wind speed of 60 metre per second during cyclonic conditions. Special funds were sanctioned by SPU vice-chancellor Dr Harish Pad and SFRCI chairman Dr A R Jani for this solar power plant which presently supplies power to the head of department’s office, the administrative office and the laboratory of physics department.