A low cost and energy efficient device has been developed to capture sunlight and light up households, particularly in urban slum or rural areas which lack electricity supply.
Micro Solar Dome (MSD) has been developed by the Department of Science and Technology in collaboration with N B Institute for Rural Technology.
The device has a semi-spherical upper dome made of acrylic material that captures sunlight. It passes through a sun tube which has 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 at the bottom of the lower dome which can be closed if light is not required during the day.
The device is leak proof and capable of working throughout the day. After sunset, it can work for four hours.
The product has been tested at Electronics Regional Test Laboratory (ERTL), which has paved the way for its acceptance on pan India basis. The Micro Solar Dome was also tested for select parameters at IIT-Bombay, Mumbai, TERI University and Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Kolkata.
On up-scaling the photovoltaic-enabled MSD device will cost Rs. 1,200 and non-PV MSD will cost Rs. 500. However, these prices are expected to come down over a period of time.
The PV-integrated Micro Solar Dome has been included as a product for off grid solar lighting applications by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and is eligible for subsidy.