Aapnu Gujarat
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Concentrated Solar Technology (CST): An Environment Friendly Alternative to Meet Cooling Requirements

Space cooling & Refrigeration are highly energy-sensitive processes. In various sectors in India cooling is primarily required during the day time under blazing sunlight and this is the time when solar energy is also prevalent. Most parts of India receive abundant sunshine throughout the year making solar cooling technologies a very viable alternative to meet cooling requirements. With a daily potential of around 5-7kWh/m2, solar energy has emerged to be one of the most viable source of renewable energy in the country. All commercially available cooling systems, Vapour compression machines (VCM) and vapour absorption machine (VAM) based systems can be run using solar energy. While VCM machines are available in the capacity range starting from 1 Ton, VAM machines are generally available in the capacity range of 30 Tons and above. Moreover solar cooling systems have the potential to supplement all applications of cooling in domestic space cooling and refrigeration as well as industrial cold storage. Presently it has been found to be quite useful for Space cooling in commercial and institutional sectors especially at places where power cuts are high and DG sets are being used to generate power. Today there are a choice of solar concentrators from the non-imaging concentrator to a Paraboloid dish that is either static or is capable dual axis tracking that can be easily configured to achieve required tonnage of cooling using VAM or VCMs of varying efficiencies. Several large and medium sized organizations in the country such as Magneti Mareli – Haryana , NTPC – UP , NPCIL – Rajasthan, Mahindra vehicles – Maharashtra and Civil Hospital – Thane, TVS Suzki, Chennai, Munni Sewa Ashram, Vadodara and Swiss Embassy, Delhi have successfully installed and benefitted from solar air conditioning systems of capacity varying from 30 TR to around 200 TR. The installation of solar cooling systems have also resulted in huge savings and environmental impact as a 100 sq.m dish can save 5,000-10,000 liters of diesel depending on sunshine availability & technology used while reducing CO2 emissions to the tune of 37.50 tons annually.
Dr. R.P. Goswami, Director/ Scientist F in the Ministry said, “Adoption of solar cooling can have an immense impact on power availability in the country as about 35,000 MW (estimated) of electricity is consumed by air-conditioning services. This energy requirement is met by conventional energy where available and Diesel generator set where conventional power is unavailable of scare. DG sets consumes a considerable amount of Diesel and adds to noise and air pollution as well. Thus to mitigate energy shortage and reduce dependence on pollution fuels for our cooling needs, the adoption of solar cooling technologies need to be promoted throughout the country. Solar cooling systems are most useful for higher capacities in institutions, commercial establishment/organizations which work during the day time.
“As a sunshine country, India has immense potential to harness solar energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuels for its energy requirements. Solar and other renewable energy sources have with advancement made in associated technology and knowhow become much more efficient and reliable as a source of clean energy and they are the future as we cannot continue to consume polluting fossil fuels unabated if we are to cut down on our carbon footprint. There have been massive improvements in generation as well as storage capacity of solar energy systems.” said Dr. A K Singhal, National Project Manager, MNRE.
With India having ratified the COP21 Paris climate agreement, the onus is on us to cut down on harmful emissions in a time bound manner, and with increasing demand for energy it is all the more important that we make the shift to non-polluting, renewable sources of energy in the fight against green house gas emission and meet international clean energy commitments.
The clean nature of solar energy makes it an ideal energy source and solar assisted air-conditioning systems can help us lower peak energy demands as well as lower our dependence on fossil fuels. Much research and development has gone into making solar panels more efficient and continuing developments in scientific and material research can help us build more efficient solar panels, thereby increasing the quantum of clean energy that can be generated in the fight against environmental degradation.
Those interested to know how their organization can also benefit from this clean, green and cost saving energy source can contact their respective State Nodal Agency in state capitals or log on to www.mnre.gov.in or call Toll Free 18002334477 for more details.

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