The German Aerospace Center DLR is supporting the Indian power provider NTPC in its project to establish a research center to test and develop solar power plants and their components. The recently launched project will run for three years and is supported by the Kreditanstalt Development Bank (KfW) with funds provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.
The center will allow NTPC to build on the expertise in its own research department. The DLR test and qualification center in Cologne, QUARZ, is the role model for the Indian research facility. Industrial providers commission QUARZ to test components for solar power plants, including parabolic mirrors and absorber tubes. DLR developed the internationally recognized measurement procedures used in the facility, and also defined the quality standards.
DLR will deliver test facilities designed for its proprietary measurement procedures over the course of the project. They include systems to measure mirror form and reflectance, and to perform photogrammetry and collector qualification. The project will also include DLR-developed software that enables optimization of power plant output. In India, seminars will be held to train local solar researchers in the use of these measurement procedures. The hope is that this technical equipment, software and knowledge transfer will form the basis for future research cooperation. In addition, DLR will support NTPC by providing an analysis tool to examine all of India and identify the best locations for solar power plants.
Two thirds of the electricity used in India is derived from fossil energy sources, making the energy sector a major burden for the environment and the climate. The Indian government has launched an ambitious solar plan to deliver greater energy reliability and to foster carbon-neutral growth. The plan calls for the installation of 100,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022.
- German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), Germany