With ever rising conventional energy costs and the impact of Carbon dioxide on global warming worldwide, researchers are focusing on harnessing solar energy as a non-polluting perennial energy source. The source being very dilute in nature, requires a large land area for capturing. The cost of this non conventional energy is still very high. With increased focus on technology development and market potential, costs are projected to come down in future.
Internationally, solar power plant technology is still under development and hardly any efforts are made in India. Thermax is pioneering the indigenous development of solar thermal power plants. This development is focused on a cost competitive power plant, using solar concentrators.
Thermax's Power division is currently working on two main streams of this technology development:
Integrating Solar Field With a Conventional Boiler
Thermax is currently engaged in setting up a small 200 KW solar thermal pilot plant integrated with a biomass back-up, for rural India applications. This technology once proven will proliferate in multiple installations of 50 KW to 500 KW across the country where biomass and biowastes are available. This is a green technology development, since no fossil fuels are used.
Developing an Independent Solar Power Plant
Thermax is also working on developing an independent solar thermal power plant, for which a pilot plant of sub MW capacity will be erected. Initially the plant will be set up for day time operation. Later with the addition of energy storage devices, the operation will be extended to 24 x 7 types. Once the technology is demonstrated, it will be scaled up to higher capacities up to 50 MW capacities.