KOLKATA: The renewable energy school under NB Institute for Rural Technology (NBIRT), headed by solar power expert S P Gon Chaudhuri, has come up with a prototype of an integrated machine that will store solar power in water for 24 hours.
The ministry of science and technology has allocated Rs 2.7 crore to initiate a pilot project to develop this integrated machine for a mass solar-hydel project in Assam. NBIRT scientists and Viswa Bharati researchers will work on it.
Gon Chaudhuri, who along with his team, has developed the prototype of the machine, said, “Now, only a small amount of solar power could be stored in batteries. With this machine, solar power can be stored for 24 hours and the cost is about 1/5th that in batteries. Batteries storing solar power have an average life expectancy of five-six years, while through this machine, solar power could be stored in water for over 40 years,” he said.
The scientist said the integrated machine has five parts: a solar panel, a micro-solar pump, a micro-hydel equipment, a water tank and a water reservoir. “Once the solar panel produces solar power, it is first stored in the underground reservoir and then pumped into the overhead water tank, where it is stored as potential energy. To generate power, a micro-hydel equipment will be switched on and that will bring the high-pressured, stored solar-powered water into the main machine, which will turn it into electricity,” he said.