MNRE Initiatives in Solar Energy – June 2012

Centers of Excellence

• IIT Bombay: Research and education in the area of photovoltaics (2009-10)

• IIT Rajasthan: Research and education in the area of solar thermal (2011-12)

• IIM Ahmedabad: Technology incubation and development of entrepreneurship (2010-11)

• CEPT University, Ahmedabad:  Solar passive architecture and green building technologies (2010-11)

• Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Cochin: Integrated nano-material based Photo Voltaic-storage devices (2010-11)

• IISc. Bangalore: Proposal is under consideration for decentralized solar thermal power applications


Research Infrastructure Augmentation (Universities/ R&D institutions)

• R&D Policy is in place to support R&D projects in Universities, academic institutions, research laboratories and in industries

• Type of projects covered under the policy include

– Centres of excellence in thematic areas of research

– Applied research

– Technology validation and field evaluation

– Capacity building

• Currently, 18 projects in photovoltaics and 17 in solar thermal areas are under implementation

Research Infrastructure Augmentation (Universities/ R&D institutions)

• Implementing institutions include

– IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, IIT Rajasthan

– CSIR laboratories, NPL, NCL, Indian Inst of Chemical Tech

– Universities: Delhi, Pune, BESU, KIIT, Jain University, Cochin University of S&T,

– IACS, Indian Institute of Petroleum, TERI

– Industries : Moser Baer, Maharishi Solar, Sunborne, ATE Pune, Clique Dev, Thermax, Megawatt Solutions,

– Others: WRST; DST Lakshadweep.


Specific R&D Thrusts


– One proposal from IIT Kanpur is under consideration aiming at development of Si solar cell

Development of high temperature photovoltaics

– Ga As is usually used

– Cooling mechanisms are usually applied.

Heat Cycles for solar thermal with air as heat sink

– Being tried out in solar tower project by Sunborne

– Covered in the scope of work at IIT Rajasthan project

– Pilot project is also being planned


Materials and Components

Receiver for Parabolic Trough Technology: Challenges

– Glass to Metal seals

– Vacuum Receiver

– High temperature and low emittance selective coating

Advanced power converter modules for PV

– Covered under BESU and IIT Bombay Projects

• Self cleaning reflector surfaces

• Receiver Modules for central tower

– Covered under Sunborne Project


New Photovoltaic Materials

• Organic solar cells using organic-inorganic semiconductor hybrid absorber – IIT Delhi

• Dye Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC) – IICT, Hyderbad

• Novel Doped 3-D Nanoporous Oxides for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells – IIPM, Dehradun

• Salmon DNA-Conducting Polymer (P3HT) – Quantum Dot (CdSe) – Carbon Nanotube (SWNT) – University of Delhi

• Titania nano-structured thin film based for developing DSSC – Amrita University, Cochin

• Design and Development of Organic Solar Cell Sub-Modules – IIT Kanpur


Pilot CSP Projects

Planned with NCEF and ADB support

• Air/ hybrid cooling

• Large thermal storage

• Base load capacity solar stand alone plant

• Advanced technology with operating temperature over 500 deg C

Proposed to be taken up

• Hybridization with natural gas

• Solar – biomass hybrid plant

• Solar Augmentation of the existing coal thermal power plant

• Solar dish Stirling engine


Infra-structure for Solar Energy

Capacity for silicon production

– 50 MWp capacity vertically integrated plant by Lanco at Chhattisgarh

– A project by Maharishi Solar for development of solar grade Silicon

– Some capacities are likely under SIPS by Ministry of IT


About Ritesh Pothan

Ritesh Pothan, is an accomplished speaker and visionary in the Solar Energy space in India. Ritesh is from an Engineering Background with a Master’s Degree in Technology and had spent more than a decade as the Infrastructure Head for a public limited company with the last 9 years dedicated to Solar and Renewable Energy. He also runs the 2 largest India focused renewable energy groups on LinkedIn - Solar - India and Renewables - India
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