17-year-old prodigy secures registration of design for indigenous innovation of solar modules

17-year-old prodigy secures registration of design for indigenous innovation of solar modulesAt the tender age of 17, Jai Mohanka secured registration of design for an innovative Intermesh Frame of Solar Panel under Designs Act, 2000, and the Designs Rules, 2001. Jai conceptualized a novel design for solar panels, to address common issues in installation of solar modules such as complicated assembling procedure and poor water drainage in the modules.

Jai topped at All India Level in Science with 100 percent in CBSE Class X Board Examination and has always had a scientific bent of mind since the beginning. He has been visiting factories and power plants across different industries since he was a toddler. During his excursions to various factories, he was exposed to various manufacturing processes and developed a keen interest in product design to optimize functionality while ensuring ease of manufacturing.

Jai, a student of Mothers International School, New Delhi, also visited the Solar Plants of Gautam Solar to learn about the installation process of the various components involved in the plant. As he observed the process of installation of the solar modules, he saw that per module, 8 nuts & bolts and 16 washers were required. Also, he learned about the problem of poor water drainage in the solar modules.

To tackle these problems, he began working on a novel design for solar panels. This design consists of a primary and a secondary frame with a hollow structure; both having laterally extending brackets with grooves to provide an interlocking mechanism. These frames are configured to secure the panel, and the brackets are configured to mesh upon operation using fasteners. This leads to a reduction in the number of fasteners (nuts, bolts, and washers) used during panel installation by 50 percent.

To illustrate this aspect, Jai gave an example of a 1 MWp PV System consisting of 500 Wp Solar Panels and pointed out, “In conventional system design, 16000 Nuts & Bolts, and 32000 Washers are required for such an installation. On the other hand, using the new system design, only 8000 Nuts & Bolts and 16000 Washers are required. This not only saves time and makes the installation cost-effective, but also streamlines the installation process.”

The new design also addresses the problem of water drainage. Existing Solar Panels are designed with mounting part which creates a gap between the panels. Rainwater can easily enter this gap between solar panels and damage wires and electrical circuits. In the new design, the enclosure formed by the brackets can be used for water drainage functionality and prevent damage to the electrical wirings secured to the frame.

Looking at the innovative design, Jai filed design registration for the Intermesh Frame of Solar Panel with the help of his father in March 2023 and secured the registration in May. He is further awaiting to secure the patent for the innovation from The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), commonly known as the Indian Patent Office. This will give the prodigy the exclusive right to manufacture and sell solar panels with this unique frame design as well as license to other companies in the solar energy industry.

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