- INS Sarvekshak is a naval survey vessel.
- This warship of the Navy has turned to the sun to generate a share of its on-board power.
- This ship has innovatively deployed the zero-maintenance solar power system, capable of generating 5.4KW electricity, by customising and installing ‘razor-thin, flexible’ solar panels on the canopy of its telescopic (retractable) helicopter deck.
- Rigid, glass-topped solar panels are unsuitable in the humid, salty marine environment, as they cannot withstand high wind speeds.
- They were found to be unfit for fitment on ships and they needed to be stationary for the sensors to receive sunlight.
- Conventional, fume-emitting batteries posed a further challenge, as they are not advisable over turbulent seas
- Given these constraints, the team then decided on the ‘light weight, extra-thin and flexible panels that would not break’.
- These panels have been imported from the U.S. through a local vendor.
- These panels have a maintenance free life for 24 years while the no-fume solid electrolyte batteries have a guaranteed life of 20 years.