CSIR-CMERI (Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute) and National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) have signed an MoU to form a ‘strategic association’ in order to support the solar energy segment in India. The agreement was signed on September 7, 2020 by Dr Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur and Dr Arun Kumar Tripathy, Director-General, NISE. The MoU has been signed with an aim to improve resource sharing and coordination between the NISE and CSIR-CMERI for effective utilisation of the national resources eliminating the duplicity of further capital investment for the same resource. The objective of the MoU is to conduct joint field studies for different solar technologies, skill development of stakeholders including developing content, carry out policy and regulatory studies, collaborate with international level research institutions for undertaking research work in India and jointly work towards enhancing and expending the capacity, capability, facility and infrastructure through resource mobilisation and aligning the capacity building.
Recently, the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI has set up a solar tress at the CSIR-CMERI residential colony in Durgapur, West Bengal. This is the largest solar tree across the world, with a capacity of over 11.5 kWp. Each tree is made up of 35 solar panels, each with a capacity of 330 W. The tree is capable of generating 12,000 to 14,000 kWh of electric power during a year. Each solar tree will cost Rs 750,000. The tree is designed to ensure maximum sunlight exposure for each PV module while creating the least amount of shadow beneath. The inclination of the arms holding the PV modules are flexible and can be adjusted- a feature which is not available in rooftop solar systems. The solar trees can be aligned with agriculture for substituting price-volatile fossil fuels. Each solar tree has the potential to save 10-12 tons of carbon emissions when compared with fossil fuel, and the surplus power generated can be fed to the power grid.