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Home News Power Sector News National Chemical Laboratory to develop non-silicon solar cells

National Chemical Laboratory to develop non-silicon solar cells

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National Chemical LaboratoryThe National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) will spend about Rs 50 to 75 crore in the next five years on a mega research project on solar energy in which the next generation of non-silicon solar energy material will be developed using institutional facilities at the campus, NCL director S Sivaram said .

“Energy is a major issue of concern today. Solar energy is the most crucial source of alternate energy. However, solar energy is converted into power using solar panels, which are made of silicon. The problem with silicon is that it is very expensive and has a rigid structure. We are working towards finding alternative material for tapping solar power, which will be more affordable and flexible,” Sivaram told reporters.

The NCL director said that the Laboratory was also working on making a prototype for assembly of 1,000 fuel cells for which it was talking to private sector companies for partnerships. About Rs four to five crore funding received for it would be spent on the fuel cell assembly project.

Elaborating on the current projects that NCL is undertaking, Sivaram said the laboratory has developed a proto type of fuel cells, which are currently in operation and advanced testing at the Central Electrochemicals Research Institute in Chennai.

“We are planning for large scale prototype manufacturing which we want to test it in real time application. We are in talks with many companies like Tata and Reliance regarding this and the project is of a total investment of 4.5 crore,” he said.

According to him, about 100 acres of land have been made available by NCL to Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune to set up a Rs 500 crore campus for 3,000 students, 200 faculty and 500 PhD students.

“The NCL has 380 PhD students, which is to be increased to 500 by end of the year 2009. A hostel for 135 students and laboratory of 65,000 sq ft space are being set up, after which, NCL will be one of the largest campuses for chemical science in the country,” he said.

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