It is prudent to be lower emissions while catering to today’s growing demand for energy. In this context, Birds Eye Energy, a green energy company with a strong focus on R&D, has developed an innovative duplex solar panel. This panel converts 35% of the solar energy into electricity as opposed to 15% to 18% by traditional solar panels while taking up the same amount of roof space. For traditional panels about 85% of solar energy is wasted as heat, so the Birds Eye panels are up to 2x efficient compared to the former.
The two-in-one solar panel developed by co-founders of Birds Eye Energy, Praneeth Pillarisetti and Harsha Vardhan Reddy generates electricity and heats water, occupying only 170 square feet on the terrace, leaving more space for more panels. Praneeth, BTech in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, and Masters in Renewable Energy Systems from the University of Florida recalls that the model was initially a 10×15 cm designed for academic demonstration, and they had to do further R&D to make the product viable.
Harsha, Praneeth’s batchmate at IIT Madras, studying Bio-technical Engineering before pursuing MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, added that they looked at bettering the quality of panels and the heat exchanger such that the panels would last for 15 to 20 years and heat exchanger for 25 years, without frequent maintenance or replacement.
For the past decade, some of the sharpest minds working in energy research at IIT Madras and CSIR-CEERI, Chennai have been involved in creating novel energy solutions to meet customer needs. The Indian power sector is set to grow by 600% over the next 30 years, and developers of new and innovative green energy technologies like those behind Birds Eye Energy will look to cater to the growing market of Indian consumers.
Meanwhile, the co-founders have also applied for three patents for the technology used to develop and design the duplex solar panels. Praneeth and Harsha have plans for further innovations, which includes incorporating micro-concentrators within solar panels, negating the need for large mirrors to focus the sun rays on to the panel, for industrial use.