Business and Engineering academics from Aston University and the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi are overseeing the construction of a hybrid solarbiomass plant in a remote area of Rajasthan. The research team wants to use this pioneering project to create a blueprint for renewable powered systems to provide electricity, process heat and cooling, capable of being easily replicated throughout India.
Fuelled by solar energy and backed up by biomass such as prosopis wood, the 300kw plant will provide heat, steam and electricity to downstream plants, which are also being built as part of the three-year Science Bridge Project. They include an ice factory, fruit andvegetable processing plants and a water distillation unit. The combination of solar and biomass power will reduce fuel consumption while allowing round-the-clock operation. Theplant, soon to be constructed, will allow regional farmers and their families to access acheap, renewable and reliable energy source that in turn can help remote villages togenerate an income and become less dependent on farming alone.
This blueprint of work will include:
This three-year, £3m Science Bridge Project, is being supported by Research Councils UK(RCUK), the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) and private donations. The project will also investigate renewable biomass technologies in the United Kingdom, which are being developed by the European Bioenergy Research Institute at Aston University - already home to several highly innovative concepts. This includes the conversion of materials such as algae, sewage sludge, seeds, wood and agricultural waste into useful fuels for electricity generation, heating, transport and fertilisers.
For more information visit the EBRI webpages, the SERG webpages or download issue 2 of Aston Advances.