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The world's largest solar tree has been shattered

With a PV panel surface area of 309.83 square metres, the solar tree is officially verified as the world's largest solar tree by Guinness World Records (GWR).

Solar tree

The solar tree, which was installed at the CSIR-CMERI Centre of Excellence for Farm Machinery in Ludhiana, has a surface area of 309.83 square metres of solar photovoltaic panels. The final solar tree created by CSIR-CMER had a surface area of 67 square metres.

Guinness World Records has confirmed that India has installed the world's largest solar tree.

The 309.83m2 solar panel-covered structure was built at the Centre of Excellence for Farm Machinery in Ludhiana, Punjab, by the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, which is affiliated with the government's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

What is a photovoltaic (photovoltaic) tree?

A solar tree is shaped like a tree, but its crown is made up of photovoltaic (PV) panels. Solar energy is captured by the tree's "leaves" and converted to power, with branches funnelling it down through the trunk and into a central battery beneath.

The structure, which shattered the previous record of 67m2 of panel surface, has a generation capacity of 53.6kWp and is capable of generating between 160 and 200kWh per day.

Sowing the seeds of a more sustainable future

With diesel accounting for 75% of India's electricity output, shifting to renewable energy sources, especially solar, is critical.

According to Harish Hirani, director of the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, "these solar trees have a wide range of applications, including distributed power generation to power various integrated farming activities such as charging e-tractors, e-power tillers, and EV [electric vehicle] charging stations; running agriculture pumps for irrigation needs; solar-powered cooking systems for food preparation on the farm site; and powering the cold storage needs of telecommunications."

Professor Harish Hirani, head of CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur, explains how it all began, "We began with six solar trees ranging in size from 3KW to 11.5KW, which collectively provided approximately 50KW of power." We then calculated the material and fabrication costs and began designing a single 50 kW solar tree.” To demonstrate the solar tree's practicality in agriculture, Hirani stated, "Farmers do not require a roof to put the solar tree." It can be installed directly in the fields and will not hinder wind."

"The solar tree will power integrated farming activities such as charging electric tractors, tillers, and charging stations for electric vehicles, as well as agriculture pumps and solar-powered culinary systems and cold storages," he explained.

Hirani stated that the future of Indian agriculture will be based on drones. "Drones will saturate crops with insecticides and water. The solar tree may be used to charge the drones' batteries," he explained.

Analyze the cost-benefit ratio

A solar tree with a 53.6 kilowatt peak (Kwp) capacity costs around 2.5 lakh crore. When asked if farmers would be able to purchase such solar trees, Hirani stated that the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) would have to contribute and that a public-private partnership (PPP) model would be required.

"In the long run, solar trees will be extremely advantageous to farmers.

Additionally, as we explore deeper into the concept, costs will be contained. It will also help reduce carbon dioxide emissions," he said, noting that despite the country's 14% food shortfall, 30% of food in India is wasted. "The solar integrated project ideas are designed in such a way that no one in the country would go hungry and no food will be wasted.


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