Workshop on Industrial Solar Heaters: “Fast Forward to the Solar Future”

9:30 A.M – 11:00 A.M: Session 1: Fundamentals of Solar Thermal Technology – Dr. Srinivas Reddy

In this session Dr. Reddy discussed about the energy scenario at present.  Energy reserves are limited and therefore energy sustainability is a very important consideration in this regard.  He also discussed about Hubbert’s peak and how it can be altered.  This can be achieved by increasing energy efficiency, appropriate energy mix and renewable energy technologies.  Solar thermal technologies give high efficiency of about 80% as heat is used directly. There were also discussions on stationary and concentrating panels, flat plate collectors and evacuated tube collectors, series and parallel configurations depending on heat loss.

11:00 A.M – 11:15 A.M: Tea Break

11: 15 A.M – 12:30 P.M: Session 2: Evacuated Tube Collectors – Mr. K. Manoharan

Mr. Manoharan spoke about ETCs and their practical implementations with convincing demonstrations. He talked about phase change materials which can increase the efficiency of ETCs up to 92% and their practical difficulties. It was amazing to know that the ETCs developed by him guarantee a life span of 25 years contrary to the popular belief that ETCs have short lives. He also introduced to us, a new modified Evacuated Tube Heat Pipe (ETHP) collector which allows heating up to 1200C.

12:30 P.M – 1:00 P.M: Session 3: PV/Thermal Hybrid Technology – Dr. Bala Pesala

The conventional solar photovoltaic cells are having efficiency less than 20% and solar thermal appliances are having an efficiency of almost 50%. In both these technologies a large amount of energy is lost. If we are able to combine these technologies we will be able to increase the efficiency and payback time. In this session some examples of implementation of this hybrid technology from foreign countries were also given.

1:00 P.M – 2:00 P.M: Lunch Break

2:00 P.M – 3:00 P.M: Session 4: Solar Economics – Mr. Bhoovarahan Thirumalai

Mr. Bhoo, CEO of Aspiration Energy, explained the various market aspects about solar technologies. He recommended flat plate collectors only for household and not for industrial purposes as the copper will get corroded easily. ETC is recommended for large scale purposes. He also showed solar thermal systems are very economic through the case studies of the established systems at Sona and Wheels. Many of the practical aspects were discussed like availability of sunlight, cost etc. According to him solar energy can only be considered as a secondary source of electrical power when the cost of establishment is considered. He also talked about Pay As You Save scheme were industries can establish solar panels on their rooftops without much initial cost.

3:30 P.M – 6:00 P.M: Field visit: Industrial Solar Thermal Installations

The demonstrations on solar thermal installations at Wheels India Ltd and Sona Koyo Steering Systems Ltd were given. An original German made Compound Parabolic Reflector was shown and its working was explained. Mr. Manoharan  explained the whole process of establishing solar panels on factory rooftops which include requirement analysis, field study and rooftop planning with shadow studies, budgeting and establishment.










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