Solar Lighting Millions Through Open Source Hardware by Prof. Chetan Singh Solanki

Location and Date: 
Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 5:00 pm, VMCC 31


The SoUL are currently promoted as study lamps through a localization model by IIT Bombay in which solar lamps are assembled, distributed and repaired by villagers. As part of the program more than 700,000 SoUL have already been distributed across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha covering nearly 8000 villages. These solar study lamps have been proven to enhance school student’s daily night studies, exams preparation and homework, other than saving of kerosene and associated cost.

There are about 76 million students studying in blocks of India which are either having more than 50% households using kerosene as main source of lighting (Census, 2011) or having more than 25% tribal population. Most of these students needs immediate solution for lighting for study. Considering the above facts, creating solar urja lamp’s *open source hardware* for local manufacturing in rural areas is need of the hour. This will enable availability of lamps in cost-effective manner and spread them in faster manner. In this way, this year’s TechFest competition is a step further in promoting local manufacturing of solar lamps, which is also in line with Make in India initiative of Prime Minister.

About the Speaker

Dr. Chetan Singh Solanki is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), India. He is an expert crystalline Si technology, Si-nanostructures (including quantum dots), thin film Si solar cells, PV concentrator systems and carbon nanotubes. He received his Ph.D. degree from the specialist silicon laboratory, IMEC (Inter-university Micro-electronics Center, Ketholik University, Leuven, Belgium).

In order to ensure that solar light is reaching to each and every student a project names 1 Million Solar Urja Lamp (SOUL) has been initiated where Dr. Solanki is the PI. The project intends to provide solar lamps to 1 Million students through localization of solar energy.