Indo-US Solar Tie Up on Track and Thriving
The synergies inherent in combining India’s scientific strengths and the United States’ technical know-how are something that can bring significant progress in the development of frontline technology in solar energy, according to speakers at a Indo-US workshop on the subject, in the city on Monday. Speaking at the workshop on ‘Advances in Solar Energy and Utilisation — Fast Forward with Solar Mission’ held at the Anna University’s Vivekananda Auditorium, David S Ginley, Research Fellow and Group Manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Denver, USA, told the students who had gathered here, that a collaboration between the two countries in the development of Photovoltaic Cells was on track already and had the potential for more.
“We already have in place the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the Unitied States spearheaded by NREL and the IISc, Bengaluru, and we have seen considerable progress in several technologies,” he pointed out.
“For example, IISc developed a new dye for ink based Photovoltaic technology, but it wasn’t quite right. And then we at the NREL used our computer models to make it more efficient and it paid off. These are the kind of synergies that a dedicated collaboration between India and the US creates,” Ginley said.
The speaker also listed out various potential technologies that research in the field was bringing out. With improvements in historic PV technologies tapering off, newer cells based on organic and peroxides have slowly started proving to be as efficient as the earlier silicon-based technology, he pointed out. “And organic cells, with efficiency approaching 14 per cent are a lot cheaper to make than older PV cells. While ink-based technology can enable us to literally print these chips, the current catch phrase is to make PV cells low cost, modular and enable rapid production,” he stated.
The workshop was also attended by several prominent persons in the field of renewable energy, including Sudeep Jain, CMD of Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency, William Tumas, Associate Lab Director, NREL and R Velraj, Institute for Energy Studies, Anna University. R Murari, Advisor to the president FICCI and S Ganesan, Registrar of Anna University were also present.