Indian scientists from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, have indigenously developed India’s first super critical carbon dioxide (S-CO2) Brayton Test Loop facility. The test loop facility is coupled with a solar heat source, making it possibly, the first of its kind in the world.
Steam is substituted with super critical carbon dioxide (S-CO2), which is more denser than steam at 31ºC and 73 atmospheric temperatures causing the efficiency of energy conversion to increase by as much as 50 percent.
The unit was inaugurated by Science & Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan at the IISc campus in Bengaluru.
“I am sure all these intense scientific efforts and collective endeavours would enable us to realise the vision of an affordable, efficient, compact, reliable Clean Energy systems which will be robust and suitable in diverse geographic conditions,” said Dr. Harsh Vardhan, while addressing the scientists. “We will be facilitating all such efforts and complementing and supplementing both in terms of technical knowledge and finances, wherever required.”
The facility was developed as part of an Indo-US consortium- Solar Energy Research Institute for India and United States (SERIIUS).
This early stage research facility has massive implications for India’s clean energy drive. The facility will generate the necessary data for future development of scaled up S-CO2 power plants. This effort has already been identified as a possible national initiative for the next generation of solar thermal power plants. This gives India an opportunity to become a world leader in this technology, and fulfil a major objective of the National Solar Mission which emphasises indigenous manufacturing.
In order to make this technology a reality, a research group at Interdisciplinary Center for Energy Research at Indian Institute of Science (ICER, IISc.) had been set up. Prof. Pradip Dutta and Prof. Pramod Kumar of the Department of Chemical Engineering, IISc were the key scientists involved in this path-breaking innovation.