CO2 Research & Green Technologies Centre Inauguration

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah has called for research targeted at reducing the cost of storing solar energy in the context of the National Solar Mission, recently launched by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which aims at generation of an installed capacity of 20,000 MW of solar energy by 2022.

Inaugurating the CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Research and Green Technologies Centre and the Rajeswari Towers (Staff Quarters-II) at the VIT University here on Monday, Dr. Abdullah said that under the National Solar Mission, in the next three years, the Government of India hopes to add 1300 MW of solar energy, of which 1100 MW would be grid-connected, and 200 MW would be utilised for providing electricity to villages which do not have energy, and therefore have not seen any electricity so far.

“Here comes the problem of storage of energy. Today we store energy in batteries, using distilled water. But there are a number of villages in Jammu & Kashmir, which are at a height of 8000 to 9000 feet above the sea level where they do not have distilled water. They have to use the available water in the canals and streams, as a result of which the batteries would stop functioning. Batteries that do not use water are expensive, and therefore we have to reduce the prices of such batteries,” he said.

The Union Minister said that till date, there was no answer to the question of finding an inexpensive means of storage of energy. Under these circumstances, institutions such as VIT University should undertake research to find out ways of storing energy at the right voltage.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy would provide all help to the institute in undertaking such research. In hill states where roads are very narrow, carrying huge windmills was not possible. He has therefore told the windmill manufacturers to produce windmills, which could be easily transported to such areas. The Army is spending Rs.1200 crore on diesel to meet its power requirements for its operations in the Ladakh region alone, he said.

Dr. Abdullah also called for research on the production of power from the abundant kitchen wastes in the country. The Indian kitchen wastes are different from the kitchen wastes in the U.S. and the European countries. Research should also be undertaken on the suitable technology for generating electricity from rice husk, which goes waste. Punjab and Haryana are doing a lot of work in this area.

In Chennai, he would be having a meeting with architects to discuss with them ways of constructing energy-efficient buildings and houses and creating cooler buildings without the use of energy or by using less energy. Research should also be undertaken in this area.

Referring to the proposal of the Government of India to install micro-hydel projects in the villages, especially those which did not have electricity, the minister stressed the need for using cheaper technology. “The products must be good and cheap. Unless you produce cheaper products, they cannot be used by ordinary people,” he said.

G. Viswanathan, Chancellor of VIT University who presided said that the VIT University would be shortly submitting a proposal to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for installing a gassifier plant to produce energy from the husk that is wasted in the rice mills. It was possible to produce 200 MW to 300 MW of power through this process. The proposal includes the setting up of an Energy Centre in Bihar where the VIT would take up research on producing electricity from the rice husk generated by five mills. He requested the minister to grant the project.

Dr. Abdullah presented a memento to R. Natarajan, Senior Professor and General Manager of the CO2 Research and Green Technologies Centre.

Prof. Natarajan requested the minister to recognise the CO2 Research and Green Technologies Centre as a national centre for research and to include it as one of the centres for the National Carbon Dioxide Research Fellowship. Sekar Viswanathan, Pro-Chancellor, VIT requested the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to facilitate the production of cheaper photovoltaic solar devices, so that the common man could utilise them to harness solar energy. G.V. Selvam, Pro-Chancellor said that the 12-storeyed Rajeswari Towers has been constructed at a cost of Rs.20 crore. D.P. Kothari, Vice-Chancellor and Anand A. Samuel, Pro-Vice-Chancellor spoke. S. Narayanan, Director-Administration, welcomed the gathering. K. Chidambaram, Director-Students’ Welfare proposed a vote of thanks.

Introduction – CO2 Research Centre, VIT University

Thursday, 17 February 2011


VIT University having a great vision to impart futuristic technical education and in still high patterns of discipline through our dedicated staff, have set global standard and train our young brains to became enlightened individuals for improving the living standards of the society through their superior technical knowledge and ethical standards. The University has created infrastructure and facilities of world standard for teaching our students and carrying out advanced research. The present student’s strength is about 14500 students, a fourth of them women.

VIT is the first educational institution in India to get international accreditations for its programmes. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), United Kingdom and the Energy Institute, United Kingdom have audited the Teaching-Learning Processes at VIT and accredited the respective programmes, in the year 2004, with the highest validity of 5 years. Recently, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences (SMBS),  one of the oldest school of VIT is accredited by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology(ABET) with highest rating for six years.

India aiming for higher growth rates requires expansion in energy industry as it is a backbone for the industrial growth of the country. We are also having the responsibility to protect the environment and take care of the green house gas emission which causes the global warming. In view of the above VIT has taken action to start courses in Energy and Environment for meeting the increasing demand of trained technical manpower with interdisciplinary knowledge and skill for taking up the challenges.

1.2. VIT had started courses in B.Tech, M.Tech level and Ph. D programme in energy and environment. In 2006 with the assistance of European Union under EU-Asia link programme developed a curriculum jointly with Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Aachen, Germany, Technical University, Eindhoven, Netherlands and Indian Institute of Technology Chennai. In order to impart knowledge and skill required for the industry and advanced research, a separate Energy Centre is created with state of the art facilities. Number of advanced research and development programmes is also initiated in this centre.

The University is one of the pioneering institutions in promoting number of renewable energy projects for generating power for its own use and in promoting technologies for improving efficiencies.

Another major contribution is in environmental protection by reducing the CO2 emission using CO2 for increasing the efficiency. The renewable energy projects developed also helps in generating large job potential in rural area and also create opportunity for agriculturists for converting the waste products to get better values. 

The following paragraph gives the list of ongoing projects and project under development which has got high social relevance and helps in developing de-centralized power generation units.