Students of Delhi University’s Lady Irwin College are working on a project that has dual benefits. It is meant to reach out to the rural population and is also environment-friendly. The students are working on designing solar engineered products for the rural population.
Sushma Goel, associate professor and mentor of the project, department of resource management and design application, Lady Irwin College, says, “The increasing energy needs and rapidly depleting fossil fuels have rightly shifted the emphasis from conventional energy to non-conventional energy sources. About 45% rural households do not have access to electricity. A large number of them use biomass for their cooking and kerosene for lighting. Solar photovoltaic is one such source which converts sunlight into DC electricity instantaneously. In remote locations like rural areas, where grid electricity is unavailable and uneconomical, solar photovoltaic system integration is a befitting solution for design of products.”
“Simple and user-friendly solar engineered products integrated in the design of daily use items such as furniture, toys for children and other lifestyle products will not only provide alternative energy options but also help rural people reduce their energy footprint,” says Shreshtha Kansal, a student who is part of the solar product development team.
Innovative furniture designs combined with the solar panels will provide alternative energy-efficient lighting, besides being functional utilities. “Solar toys will help children learn and appreciate the importance of solar energy from an early age. Proposed solar engineered products will be made up of low toxic materials having a sustainable life cycle. Products will be customised according to the rural user’s needs,” says Harshita Golani, a student.