The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, has taken a small but significant step towards reducing the carbon footprints. It has come up with a new energy initiative that will not only help provide electricity to rural and urban poor but is also environment-friendly.
The DST has developed a low-cost and energy-efficient Micro Solar Dome (MSD) that captures sunlight during the day and concentrates it inside a dark room, particularly in urban slums or rural areas which lack electricity supply. Named Surya Jyoti, the MSD has been installed in the dwelling units of Lalbagh cluster in Azadpur, Delhi.
Surya Jyoti is a day and night lighting single device with unique features. It has a transparent semi-spherical upper dome made of acrylic material which captures the sunlight that passes through a sun-tube having a thin layer of highly reflective coating on the inner wall of the passage. It also contains a lower dome made of acrylic. There is a shutter in the bottom of the lower dome which can be closed, if light is not required in the daytime. It is leak proof and works throughout the day and for four hours continuously after sunset.
The Surya Jyoti lamp (left) and the lamp installed on the ceiling (right).
Surya Jyoti will be of great use to the 10 million off-grid households in urban and rural areas and many others that do not have access to electricity. When these Surya Jyoti lamps, giving an illumination equivalent of a 60W incandescent lamp, are installed in 10 million households it would lead to a saving of 1,750 million units of energy. It would also lead to an Emission Reduction of about 12.5 million ton of CO2.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has included the PV Integrated Micro Solar Dome as a product for off-grid solar lighting applications, and it is eligible for subsidy at par with other solar lighting products. The government is also trying to integrate Surya Jyoti for subsidy in rural and urban housing schemes, MP Local Area Development Schemes and corporate social responsibility activities of public sector enterprises.
Now is the time that everyone one of us goes for Surya Jyoti as this green initiative comes quite cheap and won’t make a dent in your pocket. As of now the cost of PV integrated Micro Solar Dome is around Rs. 1200 while a Non-PV integrated Micro Solar Dome costs about Rs. 500. Once the large scale manufacture of these domes is undertaken, the price will reduce further.