HYDERABAD: Much before a recent television ad talking about empowerment of individuals through internet grabbed the eyeballs, 62-year-old TS Seshadri of Hyderabad had realised the power of internet.
A chemistry graduate-turned marketing professional with an urge to innovate, Seshadri read rigorously on the internet and approached experts with his ideas. Today, he has developed a prototype using a technology which is one step ahead of where the developed countries had stopped several decades ago.
While solar energy is considered the effective replacement for fossil fuels, he believes CAES is the efficient way to achieve it. He modified and converted a petrol generator of 500 watts so as to run it with preheated compressed air.
The potential energy in hot compressed air, which is otherwise used for cleaning purposes, is being converted into electrical energy here. And, the compressed air stored in cylinders is being captured through solar photovoltaic panels and compressors.
“The required solar electricity is tapped and stored in cylinders during sunshine days. During non-solar hours, solar electricity is regenerated for the rest of the day using compressed air energy storage - CAES,” he points out adding that all the electricity generation plants be it based on coal, atomic, oil and gas, hydel, bio-mass and wind etc can be modified and converted to run on CAES generated through solar photovoltaic panels.
CAES is a proven technology used in 1978 Huntorf plant in Germany and 1990 Alabama-Mcintosh plant in the US. While compressed air required for running the turbines here were heated using natural gas, Seshadri has managed to use electricity generated by the same generator, to heat the compressed air.
He also points out that his prototype is a total substitute for batteries and fossil fuels generator. “The cylinders have long life, are affordable, and can be used for any power generation capacity etc. This can be called CAES--Battery cum Generator,” he notes adding that he has been able to achieve upto 80 per cent conversion efficiency.
Earlier, in 1998 he had developed a certain type of train toilets and submitted to the Indian Railways, which gave an acknowledgment letter of appreciation of his work. The present project of his was supervised by Dr Sagar of Gandhinagar-based Gujarat Energy Research & Management Institute (GERMI). Seshadri has also filed a patent for his innovation and has been supported by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE).