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ARCI sets up concentrated solar thermal-based test rig facility in Hyderabad

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 08, 2021

To help India’s solar industry test capability and performance of solar thermal components

International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) has established a concentrated solar thermal-based test rig facility at Hyderabad that can help India’s solar industry test capability and performance of solar thermal components, the Ministry of Science and Technology has said.

“The development of solar thermal technologies for low and medium-temperature applications requires much attention of indigenous solar thermal components manufacturing facilities and cost-effective engineering designs because most of the solar thermal companies import components particularly from China and Europe,” the Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Apart from the development, the testing and validation of the components in real-field conditions are critical for the deployment of solar thermal technology, the Ministry said. In order to cater to this need, the new concentrated solar thermal-based single-axis parabolic trough test rig facility will validate the indigenous components by comparing the performance (heat gain and heat loss properties) of components.

An autonomous institution under the Department of Science and Technology, ARCI is working on the development of cost-effective solar receiver tubes, anti-reflective coated glass covers, nanostructured material-based thermic fluids, and durable reflective mirrors to enhance the performance and cutting down the cost of the solar thermal systems in India, the statement said.

The facility has features for simultaneous testing of standard and indigenous solar receiver tubes. It has a thermic fluid-based closed-loop system which can operate between 50 and 350°C temperature range. It can conduct heat gain studies in real-field conditions with the actual measurement of solar irradiance condition and has an electrical heater support for measuring the actual heat loss of solar receivers at different operating temperatures.

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s R&D division recently sanctioned a project to ARCI for validating their indigenously developed heat transfer fluids with the comparison of a world-leading commercial product.

Published on July 08, 2021

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