This might just become a new landmark for the area. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) collaborated with the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) on building the largest “solar tree” in the world, which resembles a sizeable steel tree, though the tree consists of sheets of solar panels, instead of leaves.
This tree is currently situated at the staff dormitory of CSIR and CMERI in Durgapur, which in a way is a solar power generation equipment, and a piece of installation art that resembles macrolepiota albuminosa. According to the coverage from foreign media, each solar tree costs US$9,595, and consists of 35pcs of 300W solar panels, with the biggest highlight being its capability in maximizing the time of daylight absorption for the panels, despite not being a daylight tracking system. Harish Hirani, Director of CSIR-CMERI, commented that the solar tree has over 11.5kW of installed capacity, and is able to achieve 12,000-14,000 kWh in annual power generation.
Apart from being the largest solar tree in the world, it can also be tailored for other functions according to the location, and applied on agricultural uses, including solar pump, tractor, and tiller, as well as implement daily remote monitoring and switches. The basic IoT function of the solar tree facilitates 24/7 monitoring on the humidity of the field, wind speed, rainfall prediction, and soil analysis.
This solar tree has been designed in accordance with Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evat Utthan Mahabhiyan（PM-KUSUM）. India hopes to mitigate the burden of irrigation and maintain water quality through the off-grid solar plant and solar pump. By providing INR₹344 billion of subsidy, India wishes to achieve an installed capacity of 25.7GW by 2022.
Although this has nothing to do with agriculture, there is also a solar tree in Taiwan that is located within the demonstration site of green energy technology next to the HSR station at Guiren District of Tainan, where the curved trunk that is 20m tall is covered with multiple 300W mono-Si solar panels.
(Cover photo source: Department of Science & Technology, India)