Energy Sciences

Title :

Establishment of the Centre of Excellence in solar thermal research and education at Indian Institute of Technology, Jodhpur

Area of research :

Energy Sciences

Focus area :

Solar thermal Research

Principal Investigator :

Dr. L. Chandra, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur

Timeline Start Year :


Timeline End Year :


Contact info :


Executive Summary :

Project aims at establishing high temperature solar thermal research laboratory, material characterization laboratory, optics laboratory, solar resource laboratory, instrumentation laboratory and smart grid system, medium and low temperature solar thermal applications, human resource development and to develop research policy.


Prof. Rajiv Shekhar, Director, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, R. Chhibber, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur, Dr. B. Ravindra, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur, Dr. Ambesh Dixit, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur, Dr. Deepak Fulwani, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur, Dr. V. Narayanan, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Jodhpur

Total Budget (INR):


Publications :

09 Publications

Patents :

R. Patel, R. Shekhar, L. Chandra, A. Dixit, Low temperature solution processable chrome derivatives for solar selective coatings, under preparation

Innovation (Innovations/ Patents/ Tech Transfer) :

Innovations:1. High temperature black chrome solar selective coatings developed, 2. Compressive glass metal seals for parabolic trough receiver tubes, 3. Detailed volumetric air receiver designed, 4. Concept of solar convective furnace, 5. Control algorithm for constant power source DC microgrid, and 6. High heat flux measurement system and Sun simulator developed.


1. High Temperature Solar Thermal Research Laboratory: a. Designed and installation of Solar Air Tower Simulator (SATS) facility and it is being extended for inclusion of solar convective furnace. Volumetric air receiver is designed and characterized. Air temperature of 360C at a concentration of 420 suns is achieved. Pebble bed thermal energy storage is designed, installed and tested. Work in progress for PCM based thermal energy storage. b. Experiments and analysis are performed to understand and evaluate deposition of dust on heliostat (flat mirror), detailed flow field measurements are performed with laser Doppler Velocimetry which will provide valuable fundamental inputs for understanding dust deposition phenomenon. c. An initiative has been taken to develop a mechanism for effective and efficient cleaning of the solar panels/mirrors. In this direction, a preliminary design is developed. d. An experimental set-up is being designed for evaluating the static and dynamic performance of solar panels under wind and the associated loads. e. Cost effectiveness of solar power plant has been taken into account by reducing overall weight of the mirror support structure. f. 1.5kW air-to-water heat exchanger system is being designed and the preliminary evaluation indicated possibilities of improving energy ratio. g. A tool is being developed for evaluation of a compact heat exchanger. This will be required for design of an air/hybrid heat exchanger for steam condensation. h. A compressed glass-to-metal seal is developed and is being tested for parabolic trough collector. o Thermal cycling test of the developed seal is being carried out. i. A training program with STEAG Energy Services (India) was organized on both steady and dynamic solar thermal power plant simulator. Facilities/equipment’s (procured/created so far): i) 2-dimensional Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV) has been installed, Measurement, calibration and data acquisition designed and installed: Air-flow meters, water-flow meters; temperature, pressure measurement devices and sensors; air-blower; pressure and temperature calibrator; thermal imaging camera; data acquisition system and a high heat flux sensor is designed for plasma. The generated idea will be adopted for design of high heat flux sensor for radiation, Multi-purpose test facility (4kWth), including volumetric air receiver, thermal energy storage, air-to-water heat exchanger have been designed and installed, High performance computing system has been installed, and Conduction, convection, radiation, heat exchange test system, piping network system, flow measurement trainer, ePIV system, lab-scale and industrial radiation based water heating system, turbine test system, flash point measurement, bomb calorimeter, wind tunnel (lab-scale) have been installed. 2. Materials Characterization Laboratory: Assessment of local pebbles in terms of their composition has been done and these are employed in the designed thermal energy storage. Salt based PCM materials and their thermal conductivity enhancement have been done and high temperature nitrate salt and metal based PCM materials have been designed. Other materials developed include black chrome receiver coatings with graphite encapsulated Fe-Co nanoparticles by electro-deposition, low temperature solution processable chrome based solar selective coatings and nitrate semiconductor based solar selective coatings for high temperature applications (>800oC). Facilities/equipment’s procured/created so far: i) RF/DC sputtering technique, spin coater, technique, spray coating technique, electrochemical workstation was installed, and ii) Scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopes, X-ray diffraction, energy dispersive system, simultaneous thermal analyzer, and differential scanning calorimetry has been installed. 3. Optics Laboratory: Testing and benchmarking of mirrors and selective surfaces has been done, facilities for measurement of transmittance, absorptance, and emittance at variable temperatures have been partially done, Heliostat field design with SolTrace and ASAP s/w is have been initiated and various optical elements using ASAP s/w is in progress, automated multi-point temperature acquisition system is installed with experimental set-up; thermal imaging camera is procured for temperature distribution measurements and development of a sun-simulator is in progress. Facilities/equipment’s procured/created so far: FTIR, UV–Vis spectroscopy, and IR camera have been installed. 4. Solar Resource Laboratory: A facility for measurement of solar irradiance including DNI and aerosol etc., along with associated weather conditions related data is being continuously recorded, and modeling, simulation, and extrapolation are in progress. Facilities/Equipment’s created/procured: Solar irradiance and weather monitoring station and solar-GIS irradiance and weather database of IITJ campus have been installed. 5. Instrumentation and Smart Grid Laboratory: Design, simulation and experiments on DC smart grid and development and testing of a smart heliostat tracking system is underway, and SCADA system is installed for monitoring 100kWp PV plant. Facilities/equipment’s procured/created so far: i) Smart grid simulation systems PSCAD and MATLAB simulation software and Real-time Digital Simulator (RTDS) have been installed and are in use. ii) YOKOGAVA WT 3000 power analyzer for power quality studies have been installed and put in use. iii) Hardware, NI FPGA inverter control cards to realize power electronic controllers and 3 phase inverter stacks that can be used as AC-DC or DC-AC converter have been installed and put in use. 6. Medium and Low temperature Solar thermal Applications: Design of the prototype of a multi-stage vapour absorption refrigeration system based on LiBrWater is in progress for solar cooling application. Facilities/equipment: VARS-VCRS integrated system is being designed. 7. Human Resource Development and Policy Research: M. Tech. & Ph.D. in Energy, B. Tech./M.Tech/Ph.D. Level Projects are ongoing. temperature measurement and calibration unit, radiation unit, solar PV workstation, wind power simulator, heat exchanger test system, conduction and convection systems, PEM Fuel cell work station, I-V Characteristics of a PV panel, concept development of sun-simulator, solar water heating system, and system design laboratory. All such equipment’s were purchased from MNRE, funded by IIT Jodhpur and are currently being utilized to educate M. Tech. and PhD students. 8. Technology Demonstration Units: The 100 kW vapour absorption refrigeration system is being procured and work will start once laboratory scale DC smart grid unit is fully operational. 9. Other undertaken activities at IITJ: Pilot-scale CSP experimental test beds of parabolic trough, linear fresnel, and solar tower in association with Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. Tender for detailed project report is finished. Ener-T, Israel is offered the consultancy service for preparing detailed project report. The activity is in progress (Ref: 10. New observations: Mechanism of dust deposition on heliostat, effect of dust deposition in volumetric air receiver system and neural network based solar resource forecasting. 11. Innovations: High temperature black chrome solar selective coatings, compressive glass metal seals for parabolic trough receiver tubes, detailed volumetric air receiver design, concept of solar convective furnace, control algorithm for constant power source DC microgrid, high heat flux measurement system and sun Simulator. 12. Application Potential: Long term: Indigenization of expertise for designing solar thermal systems for electricity, heating, and cooling and setting up technology demonstration units in collaboration with industry. Medium term: Pilot testing of technologies developed at IIT Jodhpur. - Testing and evaluation of developed technologies/concepts. Short term: Human resource development and continue with ongoing R&D activities and explore new concepts and applications. 13. Publication/Dissemination: Publications: For international conferences with proceedings have been conducted, technical reports of 06 M.Tech. thesis have been prepared and 5 lectures have been invited, Patent: R. Patel, R. Shekhar, L. Chandra, A. Dixit, Low temperature solution processable chrome derivatives for solar selective coatings, under preparation; workshops: at IIT Jodhpur include, NREL USA: Solar resource assessment; Smart Grid Technologies for Renewable Energy Sources, short term course and Int. workshop on design of Sub-systems for concentrated solar power technologies.

Organizations involved