CHENNAI: Adopting a twin approach — to wean away from dirty energy and also evangelising renewable energy — IIT Madras Research Park may set up micro nuclear plants, tap into low intensity ocean waves or set up large hydrogen storage to energise its operations. And in the process add to its sustainable portfolio. IIT Madras Research Park, designed on the models of Bay Area is a confluence of industry and academia.
The facility, which consumes 25MWH to 40MWH of power, was set up nearly 10 years ago across 1.2 million square feet and is fully fired by grid power, almost entirely from coal power plants. Each unit costs Rs11/KWH at commercial tariff rates including demand charges, and it rises when there is power shortage when diesel generators supplement power supply.
“We are working on a model to become fully renewable. We will then showcase it to other 40,000 commercial buildings in the country to make the shift. Nothing will happen in India if an idea is not economically viable, we will show the economic viability,” said professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala, president of IIT Madras Research Park.
“For this, we are looking at very small nuclear power plants, hydrogen storage, ocean waves to supplement solar and wind power that we plan to set up,” he said. “If we don’t do something now, as a nation, we can get into trouble on greenhouse gas emissions.”
The formula is simple: The rooftop of the facility will supply roughly 10% to 15% of energy needs, costing just Rs3 per KWH. Next, use third party captive wind and solar power plants and wheel (generate it elsewhere and consume it at another place) for use at the facility.
This will make 90% of the supply from wind and sun. Help for battery storage types for generated power will be taken from the Center for Battery Engineering for Electric Vehicles (a special research centre in IIT Madras for R&D on e-vehicles). Large capacity chilled water storage will be created which will be used for airconditioning. “Nearly 40% of all power is consumed by HVAC (air conditioners) and chilled water is 90% efficient and cheaper than battery storage,” said Anson Sando, manager, energy programmes at the IIT Madras Research Park. The entire project will be completed in two years.
Discussions have begun with the Department of Atomic Energy in Kalpakkam on the nuclear power plant. Research work is also underway for hydrogen and biomass usage to supplement solar and wind parks. Once the plan is executed, the energy cost will drop to Rs8 a KWH from the present Rs11 per KWH, making the facility a model
News Source : Times of India
Author : Rajesh Chandramouli
Date : Aug 3, 2021