On May 21, 2020, Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (ITT-M), has developed a solar ‘parabolic trough collector’ (PTC) system for concentrating solar energy for industrial applications like desalination, space heating and space cooling.
i.The research was led by Professor K Srinivas Reddy, Heat Transfer and Thermal Power Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras and his team member Mr C Ananthsornaraj.
ii.About PTC: The PTC is lightweight and has been developed to have high energy efficiency. It is designed to function under India’s various climatic and load conditions.
iii.Besides, it can pave the way for sustainable energy solutions in agriculture and industrial process heat sectors. Concentrated solar power (CSP) technology could meet thermal and electrical energy demands.
iv.The ‘Trough Collector’ focuses sunlight on a small area where it is absorbed and then utilised for heating and subsequently into energy generation. This system consists of a concentrator or reflector, receiver, supporting structures like pylon, torque tube, mirror supporting arm and receiver support and a tracking unit.
v.The tubes absorb sunlight from reflectors, have a glass exterior and metal interior to hold a heat transfer liquid. To minimise thermal loss in the process, the space between glass exterior and metal interior is maintained at low-pressure conditions.
vi.Target: The concept also follows the Centre’s National Solar Mission which has set a target of providing 20,000 MW (Megawatt) solar power by 2022.
vii.K Srinivas Reddy, IIT-M professor also added that solar energy is a most propitious technology for clinching sustainability in the energy domain and solar power technology can meet thermal and electrical energy demands due to its high reliability.
viii.States such as Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat have great potential to harness this energy, which can reduce the combustion of non-renewable and polluting sources of energy such as coal and petroleum.
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