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Solar Energy Centre gets 3 new R&D units in Delhi

The Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah, laid the foundation stone for three more technical facilities in the research and development campus of the Solar Energy Centre here in the National Capital.

The Centre is located on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road on the outskirts of Delhi.

One of the three new facilities will be the Solar Thermal Testing, Research and Simulation unit being developed by a consortium led by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. The unit will have a grid-connected solar thermal power plant of 1 MW capacity, an official release said.

It will also have a laboratory where companies and research institutions can test the performance of different solar concentrator options, coatings and materials, components and systems for solar thermal power plants. In addition, the consortium will develop a solar power plant simulator that simulates the performance of the actual solar thermal plant through component and system models. Members of the IIT-Bombay led consortium include Tata Power, Tata Consulting Engineers, Larsen & Toubro, Clique, KIE Solatherm and Solar Energy Centre.

The second facility is a pilot project based on indigenously developed solar concentrator technology that will deliver low cost thermal energy. Chennai-based Megawatt Solutions has partnered with Solar Energy Centre to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of the technology that can harness solar energy through the thermal route for various applications such as industrial process heating, air-conditioning and power generation.

The consortia in both these pilot projects for development of solar thermal energy represent a new model for academia, industry and government partnership for technology development and research, the release said.

Dr Abdullah also laid the foundation stone for a 20 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant for validation of various design configurations. The configurations of the plant have been designed by the Solar Energy Centre.

The PV plant is being installed by Solar Semiconductor Private limited with power conditioning units supplied by Optimal Power Synergy India.

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