Vikram Solar partners with France’s CEA to drive innovation in solar PV, storage technologies

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Vikram Solar, one of India’s leading module manufacturers and prominent rooftop solar & EPC solutions providers, and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), a public research agency, signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU), on March 10, at Vigyan Bhavan during French President, Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India.

Under the MoU, the CEA will share its know-how and technology in the field of solar energy, storage, smart grids and thermal efficiency, while Vikram Solar will apply these technologies to large-scale manufacturing.

The manufacturer has a broader objective of improving solar PV cells and modules to perform at record-efficiencies, and to simultaneously develop battery solutions by increasing energy storage capacity.

Other advanced research and development (R&D) areas of collaboration will include crystallization and wafering, mono-crystalline and bi-facial modules, agri-photovoltaics and solar mobility. New competitive materials to reduce costs will also be explored.

Speaking on the occasion, Chaudhary said, “Vikram Solar has always been at the forefront of innovation through R&D that helps India grow and develop, and be a more sustainable nation. Our association with CEA will strengthen our focus on newer technology and in turn increase opportunity for both parties to work towards a more sustainable and efficient ecosystem.”

“Our association with Vikram Solar comes at a time when the need for renewables is at an all-time high in India as well as globally,” said Christophe Gégout, Deputy Chairman of the CEA, in charge of solar international cooperation. “This is a perfect time for us to leverage our strength in R&D and fuse it with Vikram Solar’s long-standing position as one of the leading global solar module player with the key focus on quality, technology, and innovation.”

The CEA conducts research into thermal and solar PV energy, to support industrial companies in the sector.

In the field of PV, the CEA’s research is focused on improving the output and reducing the costs of PV modules, and also anticipating grid integration issues, which arise when large volumes of renewables are injected into the grid.

This work, carried out at INES, makes use of its technology platform to manufacture cells and modules, and its software platform to simulate the behavior of a future grid with renewable energy sources, as well as storage and consumption equipment.

In the field of solar thermal energy, the CEA has, within the National Institute of Solar Energy (INES), an R&D platform dedicated to the optimization of solar thermal systems. The CEA also conducts research into the production of electricity using a thermodynamic process known as concentrating solar power technology.

CEA-INES has also signed an MoU with the Indian government to work on solar projects in International Solar Alliance (ISA) member countries, ahead of the ISA founding ceremony held on March 11, 2018, in New Delhi.