Ecosense Refurbished Renewable Energy Labs at NIWE Chennai and Kayathar

National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) an autonomous institution of the Ministry of New and Renewable (MNRE), is the apex National R&D institution in the field of Wind Energy. The NIWE has assumed all technical activities of Wind Energy Centre (WEC) and has also re-organized itself to undertake roles and responsibilities assigned to it by the Ministry (MNRE). The Institute is involved in the demonstration, standardization, interactive research, training, and testing of wind technologies and systems. It is an effective interface between the Government and institutions, industry & user organizations for development, promotion, and widespread utilization of Wind energy in the country.

Ecosense Installed Renewable energy Lab at the National Institute of Wind Energy in 2015. Since then many students, researchers, and educators have been trained on these equipments in the field of Solar PV, Solar Thermal, and Wind Energy.

After 5 years of extensive usage, the Lab equipments were still running but needed some calibrations, adjustments, and repair of some damaged or worn-out components. On request of the Institution Ecosense refurbished the whole Renewable Energy lab at both the National Institute of Wind Energy Centres in Chennai and Kayathar.

Ecosense refurbished all of the 8 types of equipment supplied at both the centers which are now as good as new and can be used for another 5 years without any problem. The following equipments are supplied to the National Institute of Wind Energy:

1. Solar PV Training and Research system
2. Solar Grid Tied System
3. Solar PV Emulator
4. Solar Thermal Training System
5. Solar Concentrator Training System
6. Wind Energy Training System
7. Wind Emulator System
8. Thermal Energy Storage system

Ecosense’s Solar PV Training and research system enables users to learn about Solar PV standalone technology. Using this system, a user gains knowledge in three fields of Solar PV Standalone system:

1) Physics of Solar PV Panels – I-V and P-V characteristics, series and parallel connection of solar panels effect of irradiation, the effect of temperature, the effect of shadow, the effect of tilting of panels, the effect of geographical location, etc.

2) Components and Assembly of the standalone system- use of blocking diode, use of bypass diode, use of solar charge controller, use of solar inverter, difference between MPPT and PWM charge controllers, AC load, DC load, battery charging/ discharging characteristics, assembly of several components and power flow calculations in each branch.

3) Research in PV systems- Ecosense separately provides a research unit along with a standalone experimental system. Users can initiate research in the area of maximum power point tracking using this unit. It has provision of providing automatic as well as manual gate signals to the charge controller. Users can use his/ her own MPPT algorithm with any of the controllers to provide manual gate signals.

Ecosense’s Solar PV Grid Tied System enables users to learn about Solar PV Grid Connected Technology. Using this system, a user gains knowledge in performance, assembly, and advantages of a Solar PV Grid-connected system. This system enables users to learn about grid connection, basic electrical concept, power quality correction, voltage sag due to long transmission lines, anti-islanding effect, and net metering concept.

Solar PV Emulator is a DC source which can be programmed to act as a solar PV panel. As Solar panels are dependent on natural conditions such as Sunlight and solar irradiation, this system enables the user to carry out their respective experimentations and research inside the lab at the time of the day as Solar PV Emulator emulates the same characteristics as a Solar panel but it is not dependent on natural conditions.

The Solar Thermal Training system enables users to study the characteristics of a Thermal Flat Plate Collector water heating system inside the laboratory. This system helps students in practical understanding of various technical parameters such as Overall Heat Loss Co-efficient, Heat Removal Factor, and Efficiency at different flexible input parameters like radiation, wind speed, etc. The system has inbuilt sensors that measure parameters like pressure, temperature, flow rate, etc., mounted on a control unit.

Solar Concentrator Training System consists of parabolic reflectors, an absorber tube, sun tracker, piping, storage tanks, and a heat exchanger. A control panel would control different devices and also measure the different parameters of the system. The system can be used to perform experiments in heat transfer, parabolic trough characteristics, and heat loss at different parts of the system. The system is highly flexible – it can be used with different working fluids, different absorbing materials, different piping insulation thickness, and different types of storage tanks. This gives a lot of scope for research in heat transfer and related fields. Wind speed variation and flow velocity are other parameters that can be changed to show their impact on heat transfer and heat loss.

Wind Energy Training System is a scaled-down version of actual wind turbine power plant. This system facilitates the students with working and configurable models of wind turbines. This system gives insight into individual components and consequences of changing the operating points of any wind turbine defined in terms of wind speed and pitch angle. Students can learn concepts like I-V characteristic, cut-off, cut-in speed etc.

Wind Turbine Emulator mimics the behavior of a wind turbine for hardware-level simulations. This system has a DC motor coupled with the Induction generator, the speed of which is controlled as per the speed reference calculated by solving the mathematical model of the wind turbine. An induction generator is coupled to the DC motor and a bidirectional inverter is connected to the terminals of the generator. The researcher can execute the mathematical models of their newly developed or modified wind turbine and can simulate the speed/power of profile of turbine on hardware environment directly for different wind speeds & pitch angles.

Thermal Energy Storage training system has been designed to perform TES related experiment by using PCM materials. As there are several types of PCM, the system has been designed to perform an experiment with at least two PCM separately. Provision is also kept to examine the combined (known as cascading) effect of two PCMs in thermal energy storage. To visualize the phase changes in the material another set of arrangement are there in the system.

Refurbished lab at National Institute of Wind Energy
Refurbished lab at National Institute of Wind Energy

Ecosense Personnel training students at National Institute of Wind Energy
Ecosense Personnel training students at National Institute of Wind Energy

Masters Training Conducted

Ecosense also conducted a masters training program at the National Institute of Wind Energy. This Masters Training program was focused on educating and training the professors, scholars, and technicians in Renewable Technology who will further train thousands of students and professionals to start their career or business in this very field.
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