IIT Madras develops microgrids for rural electrification


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.

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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