Development and Integration of Biomass and Concentrating Photovoltaic System for Rural and Urban Energy Bridge: BioCPV

Lead Research Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering and Physical Science

Abstract

Given the threat posed by global warming it is widely accepted that the reliance on fossil fuels for our energy need must decrease rapidly. To tackle the global threat and self dependency on fossil fuels, renewable energy such as solar, wind, wave and biomass gives the pathways to reduce the overall CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. This project addresses the issues related to integrated solar photovoltaic system - converting incoming solar energy into electricity and biomass power technologies - generation of electrical power from waste materials, for rural electrification.
This project seeks to develop a new class of solar photovoltaic technologies - Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) to integrate with Biomass and waste power generation as a backup source and develop high efficiency hydrogen generation and storage from the integrated systems. The integrated system will be installed at Uttar Sehalai Tribal Hamlet, located in a remote village, 200km west of Calcutta for rural electrification with key focuses on satellite based remote monitoring technologies. The village comprised of 80 households and has a population of approximately 400. It is located very close to Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan (a probable World Heritage Site).
The scalable prototype developed in this project will be the first ever such integrated system (Biomass, CPV and Hydrogen) for the provision of electricity that will be installed in India. Due to the lack of electricity in the village, the major fuels currently used are kerosene, firewood and wood based raw coal. Most of the nearby villages are also without any grid connections and as a result, children from the poorer families do not have the motivation and necessary resources to take advantage of basic education and health. Many of them that start schooling are forced to discontinue their studies due to the need to work to provide for their families. Availability of energy is a critical driving factor in economic development, while limited fossil fuel resources and environmental hazards drive the need for sustainable and environmental friendly solutions based on renewable energy. Thus, the project will brings together Biomass, Concentrating Photovoltaic, and Hydrogen Generation and Storage expertise from University of Leeds, Heriot-Watt University, University of Nottingham in the UK and Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, PSG College of Technology in India with the goal of developing a low cost autonomous power generating system for rural electrification.

Planned Impact

DIRECT BENEFICIARIES:
Commercial Private Sector:
Several industries such as NaREC, ANSYS, West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Limited (Green Energy), Genotex and Rensol Power Limited have expressed an interest in participating in the project as detailed in their 'letter of support'. NaREC will benefit from this project by the new developments of concentrating photovoltaics system. ANSYS will benefit from the new algorithm development in computational fluid dynamics techniques for biomass power generating system. Green Energy will benefit from the different renewable energy system integration techniques and their application to the rural society. Genotex will benefit from the development of Solar and Biomass integrated control algorithm development and Rensol power will benefited from the development of novel, low-cost and high efficiency solar energy technology proposed - a new class of concentrating Photovoltaic devices. Developing optics, receiver and integration for solar power generation in CPV system is the challenging issue. In addition, Genotex and Rensol will potentially commercialise the new development given a successful outcome of the project in relevant areas as stated in their letter of support.
Training of Researchers:
This project will support 13 PDRAs (3 PDRA in the UK and 10 PDRA in India) and 10 PhDs (4 in the UK and 6 in India) and the training and development that we have planned in this research will provide personnel fit for the renewable energy industry, high performance modelling industry and digital technologies. This will create technical expertise in their specific tasks. In addition, bi-lateral research staff exchange will enhance their educational experience, cultural exchange to prepare them for being top researchers in the global platform.
Indirect Beneficiaries:
Successful outcome of this proposal will have a greater impact on wider economics and to the society in both the UK and India via the development of low cost and high efficiency autonomous power generating systems. In addition, wider acceptance of BioCPV technology in rural parts will directly benefit society by reducing environmental pollution. In addition, being experts in Solar energy, Biomass, Hydrogen generation/storage, power electronics and rural energy needs in two continents, all the academics in this consortium have the opportunity to share the valuable knowledge of their own expertise to the wider public and policy makers. Some of these research developments will provide valuable information to the regional and national government agencies and policy makers to influence decision making for the deployment of low carbon technologies.
In the most remote Indian villages, uncontrolled modes of localised power generation lead to large-scale environmental pollution over time. The project is being implemented in a remote village where the villagers have no access to conventional grid power and the community has only a single option for power generation that of using conventional fuel, generating flue gas exhaust, causing environmental degradation and health problems. This project, which utilises solar and biomass power, will not only eliminate environmental degradation but will also provide an educational example to this new generation, where the illiteracy rate is almost 100%.

Publications


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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/J000345/1 01/11/2011 31/01/2013 £1,401,637
EP/J000345/2 Transfer EP/J000345/1 01/02/2013 09/07/2016 £1,018,626
 
Description An integrated solar energy and anaerobic digestion (AD) based electricity generated system was developed for providing electricity to the rural villagers. A new type of concentrated photovoltaic system, an improved AD system, and low cost hydrogen geared system was also developed during the project,
Exploitation Route This six university UK Indian project developed new class of Concentrated photovoltaic system (CPV) and AD based biomass system for providing electricity to the rural villagers with minimum use of electrical storage. This new approach has been taken forward for wider scale of renewable energy integration and implementation.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
URL http://biocpv.ex.ac.uk
 
Description The new finding been used by allowing ways: 1. New development of the CPV system which has concentration ratio of 500 times and using highest level os solar cell efficiency. 2. CPV system was integrated with AD system for electricity provision 3. A NGO is being involved later stage of the project for uptake of the concept. 4. More than 40 research articles have been published in the area at varieties of international journals and conferences
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic
 
Description joint research 
Organisation Fraunhofer Society
Department The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT)
Country Germany, Federal Republic of 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution development of concentrated solar cells
Collaborator Contribution material optimisation of the CPV devices
Impact joint publications and seminars, EU proposal applications
Start Year 2010
 
Title Butterflies as Photovoltaic Concentrators 
Description An optical concentrator is described that comprises an element associated, 5 in use, with a photovoltaic panel, the element comprising or having applied thereto a series of spaced nano-particles in the form of or optically equivalent to pterin containing beads. By way of example, the element may comprise a coating applied, in use, to a photovoltaic panel, the coating comprising pterin containing nano-beads. 
IP Reference 1509621.7 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed No
Impact This has huge potential of developing low cost solar power technology where weight power ratio is a key concern.
 
Title CFD modelling tool for Anaerobic Digester based bioenergy system 
Description High precision computational fluid dynamics model was developed to optimised AD system 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact It optimise the AD system for a given climatic conditions 
 
Title Discretised Thermal model for concentrated photovoltaic system 
Description Grid indecent thermal model was developed for characterisation of concentrated solar photovoltaic system, which enables to predict material's temperature. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact It predict the component level temperature within a CPV system and material's effect with the temperature. 
 
Title Energy Vector model for integrated renewable energy system 
Description An energy vector model was developed to optimise the energy flow for a Bioenergy, Solar and Hydrogen based energy system, which includes different energy resources and variability independently. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact This unique software enable to configure integrated renewable energy system for a cost effective manner. 
 
Title Integrated optical and thermal modelling tool for photovoltaic system 
Description Integrated model for concentrated photovoltaic system was developed which includes optics and heat transfer and its electrical performance of the CPV system, 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact It enables to predict full performance of the CPV system which includes, optics, heat transfer and electrical performance. 
 
Title New Metal hydride based hydrogen storage material 
Description New alloys for hydrogen storage was developed by the university of Nottingham, which increased the density and reduct the cost of hydrogen storing system 
Type Of Technology New Material/Compound 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact High capacity hydrogen storage facility developed 
 
Title Optical modelling tool for concentrated photovoltaics system 
Description In-House developed optical modelling tool was developed for optical characterisation of concentrated photovoltaic system, it enables to calculate flux distribution of the solar cell for any photovoltaic system 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Due to highly intermittence of solar radiation in cloudy conditions, it is difficult to calculate the solar uniformity of the solar flux at solar cell, which was developed by an automated process using the optical model. 
 
Company Name Solar Concentrator Limited 
Description Establishment of the company is ongoing 
Year Established 2014 
Impact Its just been developing
 
Description Butterfly-inspired technique could make solar energy cheaper 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact News article published on Butterfly-inspired technique could make solar energy cheaper, our discovery initially published in our University of Exeter website, followed by more than 110 press article world wide
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/the-good-earth/Butterfly-inspired-technique-coul...
 
Description Environment and sustainability day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Over 100 students from all over cornwall, UK participated in the Environment and sustainability day at University of Exeter's Penryn campus, and we presented how solar cell works
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015
 
Description Invited lecture on Micro-Manufacturing Technology and Applications to the Manufacture of High-Value Added Products 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Delivered a lecture on on Micro-Manufacturing Technology and Applications to the Manufacture of High-Value Added Products; to share information with other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Invited lecture: Deterministic manufacturing of ultra precision and freeform surfaces 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Delivered a presentation on deterministic manufacturing of ultra precision and freeform surfaces, in order to share information with other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description National women in engineering at Truro High School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact over 100 female students age range of 10-13 were attended for the national women in engineering day at Truro high school, and we presented novel way of making solar cell
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
 
Description News article in national newspaper 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact several press article published at december 2012 for UK-Indian project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description News article on Butterfly research for concentrated photovoltaic system 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Since our publication on scientific report about the butterfly wings as solar concentrator, over 110 press articles published worldwide in 2015. also, several press article published in printed news media
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.simplescience.co.in/statesman/276.5thAug2015.ButterflyWingTweakSolarCell.pdf
 
Description Scientific committee member for European Society of Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation poster presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Member of programme committee, review papers, recommendation,selection best paper award and studentship

After the talk researchers from Leuven University, Frauhofer IPT, Bremen University have visited my lab and discussed potential joint EU Horizon 2020 grant applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
URL http://www.euspen.eu/OurEvents.aspx