IIT Madras develops microgrids for rural electrification

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Global power and automation company ABB on Tuesday announced its partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, (IIT-M) to build microgrids and joint R&D (research and development) for rural electrification, utilization of natural non-fossil resources, battery energy storage and their connection to loads and main grid.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) includes internship opportunities to post graduate students of IIT-M for the next three years, the company said in a statement.

The research has the scope to include storage solutions for electric vehicles to act as virtual power plants to store surplus energy and support the grid in times of deficit.

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IIT-M and ABB will jointly design, build and supply equipment for up to two microgrids in rural areas. The project shall be managed by IIT-M till the transfer of the installations to the local distribution utility.

The microgrid will enable homes to be fitted with energy-efficient DC devices like LED bulbs, television, cellphone charges and brushless DC motor-based fans, designed by IIT-M.

In India, microgrids is expected to evolve rapidly and with thousands of Indian villages still un-electrified, the decentralized microgrids are a viable solution to power these villages. A low-maintenance microgrid has the potential to eliminate dependence on expensive diesel fuel and the grid.

The government recently launched the national mission on electric mobility program which targets 6 to 7 million hybrid and electric vehicles by 2020.

ABB group of companies, which operates in nearly 100 countries, has a portfolio of products for the renewable energy integration, distribution and automation of interconnected renewable energy sources that form local microgrids, the company said in a statement.

By Shruti

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