Harnessing solar power for industrial use

Written by Sandip Das | Updated: Oct 13 2009, 05:06am hrs
With global warming issues taking centre stage globally, the use of renewable source of energy for meeting power requirements of Indian companies has taken off. Besides the usage for domestic purpose, the companies are seeing increasing opportunities in using solar energy for industrial use.

In a first of its kind initiative, Maharishi Solar Technology, a venture of Maharishi group, has tied up with the US-based Abengoa Solar Inc (ASI) for production of solar energy, which would be used for industrial applications of steam generation and other needs. The company is launching the project within next three months.

The company would be in a position to supply equipment to industries for tapping solar energy, which would be used for air-conditioning, hot water needs and other thermal applications. Till date, most of the initiatives relating to tapping of solar energy have been only for usage in domestic lighting and water hitting purpose.

The solar thermal technology would be integrated into an industrial unit system for supplementing energy needs.

The technology would reduce industrial units dependence on fossil fuels for heating purpose, Pradeep Khanna, vice-president, business development, Maharishi Solar Technology, told FE. The company is investing Rs 300 crore over a period of three years for transfer of technology from Abengoa Solar and setting up the plant.

Khanna said Abengoa would supply manufacturing and assembly drawings, component specification and quality control procedures for manufacturing and procuring items in the country. Talking about the interest shown by corporates, he said, There is a lot of interest in solar energy and a company can recover the investment cost within three years.

Maharishi Solar Technology is the latest venture of Maharishi Group, a 54-year-old group set up by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and has operations in 192 countries. The company would be using its facility at Shri Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh for manufacturing equipment for thermal technology. Besides, the company also has set up a solar thermal unit in Noida, which manufactures flat plate solar collectors for domestic and industrial hot water. It chose to collaborate with Abengoa Solar because the company is a leading player in solar energy. Its setting up the worlds largest solar thermal power plant in Arizona, using parabolic trough solar technology, with a capacity of 280 mw.