Technology and R&D

Four off-grid clean energy projects chosen for India-US joint funding

A total of 168 expressions of interest were received by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in the second round of PACEsetter Fund programme. Out of these, projects by the Society for Economic and Social Studies, Customized Energy Solutions India, The Energy & Resources Institute and Raghavendra Suntech Systems were chosen for the award of grants.

Solar irrigation product converts sunlight directly into motion

The invention converts energy produced by PV cells directly into mechanical motion without batteries or power electronics. Its developers claim the solar motor can drive irrigation water pumps and ventilation turbines for more than 20 years without maintenance.

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Rajasthan eyes 50 GW of solar within six years

The state plans to achieve half the amount by 2021-22 under its new draft solar policy. The package also suggests establishing a research hub, privately financed solar parks and encouraging commercial self-consumption of clean energy.

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Tata Chemicals launches Li-ion battery recycling operations

Pilot-scale operations at a facility near Mumbai successfully recycled the spent Li-ion batteries. The company seeks to eventually scale up the capacity to recycle 500 tonnes of spent Li-ion batteries.

CSIR-CMERI develops rotating solar power tree

The solar tree—costing around Rs 3 lakh for 3 kW capacity—auto tracks the sun to generate 10-15% extra power.

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Nanowire mesh offers better cell performance and lower costs

A new method of creating an ordered mesh of nanowires, developed by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States, could lead to the creation of more efficient transparent electrode layers in solar cells – and the elimination of a rare material from the manufacturing process.

MNRE opens renewables innovation challenge to startups

Startups and individuals are invited to submit their innovative ideas to solve some of the key challenges through application of renewable energy. The innovation should at least be in prototype stage and feasible for deployment. The winner will receive a cash prize of Rs10 lakh, while the first runner up will earn Rs7 lakh and the second runner up Rs5 lakh. Applications close on August 31.

The long read: Does ALD live up to assembly line expectations?

As demand for atomic layer deposition equipment spreads among Chinese solar cell manufacturers, experts throughout the industry are sharing their insight on the merits of this emerging manufacturing technology. The numbers they crunch reveal tough competition for incumbent plasma-based deposition techniques. But beyond the hype, does atomic layer deposition truly offer the better deal?

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UK university to research solar-powered cold chains for Indian agriculture

The University of Birmingham is a research partner on the Solar Cooling Initiative of International Solar Alliance that aims to spread the use of solar and solar-hybrid energy in agriculture.

Stitching together the grid of the future

A vision of a decentralized, renewable-powered electricity grid is being brought a step closer by scientists at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Their project, Autonomous Energy Grids, aims to take an overarching look at the solutions that will power this grid of the future, and to fill any gaps that appear between them.

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