It is really heartening to learn that companies are making solar products for the agriculture sector. If this gets permeated it would be a boon for the renewable transition as India ranks second worldwide in farm outputs and in 2018, agriculture employed 50% of the Indian work force and contributed 17–18% to country’s GDP.
Here would like to share some of the product for your exploration –
Three-in-one solar integrated device
This unique integrated solar device can be used as a solar water heater during the winter, a solar cooker during clear days and a solar dryer for fruits or vegetables.
It can produce about 50 lt of hot water of 50-60oC utilizing the low altitude position of sun during winter and food for a family can be boiled within 2-3 hours, when used as a solar cooker and that too without sun tracking.
As a dryer, fruits and vegetables can be dehydrated efficiently with regulation of temperature during the day with water working as a sink regulating temperature and helps continuation of the drying process in the night through the solar heated water.
PV generator for orchards
It is primarily a solar PV pump operated drip irrigation system comprising 900W PV array with 800W DC motor pump mono block and OLPC drippers that economizes the use of water and eliminate practically all the problems associated with flood irrigation and is suitable for orchards.
It can command 4-5 hectares of pomegranate orchard with cost benefit ratio of more than 2 and may prove to be a boon in farms where water and land are available but the area is devoid of electrical power.
The PV system for irrigation has now been converted to a generator with sub components like DC-DC converter, storage batteries and compatible inverter so that it can be used for running small machines to carry out post harvest operations in addition to its utility as a pump.
PV mobile unit
The self propelling PV mobile unit is a moveable self propelling power system that can be used to accomplish domestic, agricultural and rural oriented tasks in isolated cluster of houses in rural areas, especially in dhanis (hamlets) of the arid areas.
The unit comprises of-
- two 70 W polycrystalline PV modules connected to a charge regulator,
- a folding system with auto locking arrangement for keeping the PV panels at an optimum angle,
- an inverter and a DC motor operated drive system.
The unit can be driven with ease and can be used for operating both AC and DC loads. The system has been successfully tested for operating a churner to extract butter, a blower, a winnower, an aloe vera extractor etc. Such PV mobile units can be used on a custom hire basis in the village.
This is story is based on products from ‘Central Arid Zone Research Institute Near Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Jodhpur