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Title of the Project: Replacement of Structural Steel with Bamboo in The Solar PV Sector to Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Brief Description

The problem at hand pertains to the substantial carbon emissions associated with using steel, a highly energy-consuming material, in the manufacturing of solar power infrastructure such as streetlights, garden lights, and small pumping units in India. To install a 1 MWp solar power plant, approximately 90 tons of steel are required, contributing to significant CO2 emissions in a country where most power plants rely on coal and fossil fuels. The proposed solution is to explore alternative materials that are climate-resilient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable.


The project aims to investigate the use of bamboo, a readily available natural resource in India, as a replacement for steel in the construction of solar infrastructure. Bamboo offers several advantages, such as promoting bamboo cultivation, carbon sequestration, quick growth, and renewability. However, the challenge lies in extending its lifespan to make it a viable structural material. This involves treating bamboo through various methods to increase its durability and longevity.


The key objectives of the project include reducing the use of steel in solar devices to mitigate CO2 emissions, developing treated bamboo that can serve as a durable structural material, creating affordable bamboo-based module mounting structures for solar panels, and replacing steel and plastic-based solar street lights, garden lights, and torches with their bamboo counterparts. Training will be provided for manufacturing, maintaining, and repairing these bamboo-based products, and the integration of bamboo structures with solar panels.


The estimated benefits of this project are manifold. Firstly, it will lead to the development of a procedure for treating bamboo as a structural material, which can revolutionize industries and the construction sector. Secondly, bamboo-based solar streetlights and module mounting structures will significantly reduce greenhouse emissions and costs associated with solar infrastructure. Thirdly, the introduction of bamboo-based solar garden lights and torches will not only benefit end-users but can also be a source of livelihood for Self-Help Groups (SHGs). Fourthly, bamboo-based garden lights will offer an eco-friendly and affordable alternative to conventional lighting solutions, catering to a wide range of consumers. Lastly, the project will encourage bamboo cultivation, leading to employment opportunities and overall sustainability.


In summary, the project aims to address the environmental and structural challenges in the solar power industry by replacing steel with treated bamboo, thereby reducing carbon emissions and promoting the use of a sustainable, readily available resource. The potential benefits span industry innovation, reduced emissions, job creation, and affordable, eco-friendly products for consumers.

Name of the Principal Investigator: Mr. Pranoy Lahiri


Name of the Co-Principal Investigator: Mr. Tanmay Singha Mahapatra

Current Progress in Brief: 
Five units of bamboo solar garden lights and fifteen units of bamboo solar torch lights have successfully transitioned into product development and exhibited satisfactory testing and performance results. Both products have been showcased at various exhibitions. Additionally, five units of bamboo solar street lights have completed development and are undergoing rigorous testing in harsh outdoor conditions at a remote village in Sekherkote, Purbapara, West Tripura. Performance evaluation is ongoing at the installation site. Furthermore, a robust 1kWp bamboo module mounting structure has been meticulously crafted. The complete structure, evolving from the initial prototype concept, has been designed, tested under diverse meteorological conditions, and is currently being installed at Don Bosco School in Herma Village, Tripura. Performance evaluation is actively underway at the field site, indicating significant progress in the project's advancement.

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