Concentrated Solar Thermal rig facility tested in Hyderabad for Solar Industry development: India

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New Delhi: Regarding the development of the solar industry in India, a newly established Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) performance was tested in Hyderabad to evaluate the capability of solar thermal components like solar receiver tubes, heat transfer fluids, concentrating mirrors.

The facility set up by the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), will validate the solar thermal components such as solar receiver tubes, heat transfer fluids, concentrating mirrors, and AR coated glass tubes, etc. of the CST system in field conditions parallelly, comparing the performance of the standard components while varying the operating parameters such as temperature, pressures and different DNI (Direct Normal Irradiance) conditions.
ARCI has established a concentrated solar thermal-based single-axis parabolic trough test rig facility sponsored by the Technology Research Centre (TRC) project, DST, Govt. of India concerning the validation.

The development of solar thermal technologies for low and medium-temperature applications requires much attention from indigenous solar thermal components manufacturing facilities and cost-effective engineering designs because most of the solar thermal companies import solar thermal components, particularly from China and Europe.

ARCI is working regarding the solar component development of cost-effective solar receiver tubes, anti-reflective (AR) 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 parabolic-trough test rig facility has features for simultaneous testing of standard and indigenous solar receiver tubes. It has a thermic fluid-based closed-loop system that can operate between 50 to 350°C temperature range. It can conduct heat gain studies in real-field conditions with the actual measurement of solar irradiance condition and has electrical heater support for measuring the actual heat loss of solar receivers at different operating temperatures.

Lately, HPCL R&D Bangalore has sanctioned a project to ARCI for validating their indigenously developed heat transfer fluids with the comparison of a world-leading commercial product.