India’s first integrated solar storage tile, ‘Amrita Smart’, with super capacitors instead of batteries was launched in Kochi recently. Developed and designed by Dr Shanti Nair, director, Amrita Centre for Nanosciences, and his team of researchers, the product can be used to power mobile phones and laptops even at night and also offline.
It is lightweight and handy. The smart device draws and stores solar energy using nanotechnology. “It will come handy for defence personnel as solar tiles don’t need batteries, which are heavy and occupy space,” said Dr Shanti Nair.
He said energy generation and storage must go hand in hand, which was a challenge while developing the device. Dr Nair said the development of the solar storage tile is a milestone in nano-solar aided research and in the field of renewable energy sector. Amrita Smart is expected to be marketed soon.
“Solar tile has a storage span of seven days; we will increase it to 30 days. Also, we will replace the aluminium cover with a lighter material,” said Vinod Gopal, product design engineer, Amrita Nano Centre.
He said the batteries of solar panels had only a life span of 3-4 days while Amrita Smart had a life span of 20 years. Amrita Smart was launched at Nanosolar 2012 with Dr Shanti Nair handing over the product to G Sundararajan, director, International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials, Hyderabad. Sundararajan said that for a country like India, the need of the hour was to have more research groups producing nanosolar photo-voltaic devices.
P C Pant, senior director, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said the lack of human resource posed a big hurdle in the renewable energy sector. By introducing the topic of renewable energy in the education syllabus, the country could produce 8,000 professionals every year, some of who would work for solutions to the energy security.